Ovarian cyst is a fluid collection, surrounded by a very thin wall, within an ovary. Most (about95%) are harmless and occurs during the reproductive years at any age.
There are two main types of ovarian cysts
Functional cysts– most common and form the part of normal menstrual type and short lived.
Pathological cysts- these are cysts that grow in the ovaries, they may be harmless (benign) or cancerous (Malignant)
Symptoms of ovarian cyst
- Mild to severe or discomfort in the lower abdomen
- Fullness in the abdomen
- Pain during or after menstrual periods
- Irregular periods and Infertility
- Urinary or Bowel disturbance
Diagnosis of ovarian cysts
Ovarian cysts are usually diagnosed by either ultrasound or CT scan
Blood test- blood tests like CA 125 will be elevated in certain types of ovarian cancer.
Treatment- Type of treatment depends on the type of the cyst, age of the patient, she has completed her family or not, size of the cyst and symptoms.
- Observation– this is recommended, especially if the cysts are simple, small and if she in reproductive age, repeat scans are done to assess further.
- Laparoscopy ovarian cystectomy– (key hole surgery)-In this cysts can be removed through small incision. Even large cysts can also be removed by this depending on the type of the cyst. In most of the case they can go on the same day. This type of the surgery does not usually affect a women fertility and recovery time is much faster.
- Open surgery- This is more serious operation and may be recommended if the cyst is cancerous. A longer cut is made giving the surgeon better access to the cyst. Cysts are removed and sent to the lab. The patient usually has to remain in the hospital for at least a couple of days.