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I have a dermoid ovarian cyst and my OBGYN has recommended that I
have it removed laparoscopically. Since it has been causing pain
and pressure (sometimes quite intense), he has suggested that I
have it removed soon. However, I am a bit nervous about the
surgery and would like some feedback from other people who have
gone through the same procedure.
Here are some of my concerns...
A) After a few bad medical experiences (including knee surgery
that made my knee worse), I am a bit gun-shy about surgery.
B) I am currently a full-time mom of an intense 9 month old.
He's exclusively breast-fed other than solids and still wakes
once a night to be fed. My husband can take a few days off to
help and my mom will be able to help a few hours a day for about
a week. I'm worried about how long it might take for me to
recupe. Will I be able to carry him, get him in and out of the
car seat, jumper, crib etc?
C) After a very long labor, a rough initial few months and 9
months of being a full-time mom with very few breaks, I'm WORN
OUT! I'm a little worried about going into surgery feeling this
tired and short on reserves.
D) I will, however, need to go back to work in the next few months.
Any advice or words of wisdom welcome...
I am sorry to hear you have to have Dermoid surgery when you
have just recovered from childbirth. I had Dermoid surgery
twice. Your doctor, of course, can tell you if it is imperative
it be done, based on the size of the cyst. You did mention
though you had to go back to work in a few months. Well...
You are having it done laproscopically which is helpful...you
will need someone with you the first couple days to help you off
the bed for the bathroom etc. Because of where the cut is, it
will hurt to use your abdomen muscles for things like rolling
off the bed, lifting etc. I would say limited movement for 2-3
days, no lifting for a couple of weeks and you may not feel like
yourself for a month or two. I noticed when I jogged 4-5 months
afterwards, I could still feel the incision. Surgery recovery
is very similar to that of a c-section.
It might make sense to do it now before you baby is walking and
before you go back to work. Don't eat a big meal before the
surgery as the gas pressure buildup afterwards can be painful.
Good luck to you...I feel badly you have to go through all this
and with being a new mom also.
I had an ovarian cyst removed last fall, and I understand your
concerns. Laperoscopic surgery is so much better and easier on
your system than it used to be. However, it is surgery and does
take time to recover. My ob/gyn said that the surgery qualified
me for 10 days disability pay. That's a two-week recovery period
that they state says you're entitled to. I found I could hardly
get out of bed for the first week, and could not stand up
straight for the second. It took me a full month before I felt I
could get back to normal activity. However, I was driving and
doing lots of household chores after the first week. My husband
worked at home for a week, which was invaluable. He made school
lunches and shuttled the kids. He made dinner. But he also
worked while the kids were in school and I slept. With a nursing
baby, your logistics would be that much more complicated. How
painful is the cyst, and how much do you want it removed? You
will feel better afterwards, but you have to go through feeling
awful for a few weeks first.
I had laporoscopic surgery to remove a dermoid cyst in 1998 in
Chicago, and it was totally uneventful. The downsides were that
I had nausia from the anethesia right after surgery, and that I
was sore for a few days -- but healed really fast and was
walking around in no time. You should definitely plan a few
days of down time but you shouldn't have a hard time nursing and
can expect to be back on your feet within a couple days. Good
luck, and I'm sure it will go as smoothly for you. It's very
was recently diagnosed with having an Ovarian cyst after
having extreme lower, right abdominal pain and nausea and being
admitted to the hospital to rule out appendicitis. Can someone
give me information on this? I have looked online but there are
so many different ideas on this that it is confusing at best.
The only thing the hospital told me is that it is common among
women and the one I have is ''fairly large''. I thought it
strange that they gave me no further information upon discharge
regarding the cyst and the only recommendation to see a
Does anyone have further information? I also have fairly lousy
health insurance where the choice of doctors is extremely
limited unless I go to UCSF in San Francisco. Does anyone have
a current recommendation for a gynecologist that has dealt with
them on this in Oakland or Berkeley?
Thanks in advance!
Concerned about cyst
I have had ovarian cysts off and on for about 25 years. The
first time I had a large cyst that disappeared by itself. The
next time they were rather small, but because there were several
of them and I had not had children yet, the doctor decided to try
to shrink them by putting me on a low dose of birth control pills
- didn't shrink them but they stayed about the same size. Those
disappeared during my first pregnancy. I think I've had a couple
of more since then but they were small and treatment wasn't
needed - I dont think I've got any now. The good news is that
many ovarian cysts are not serious problems and disappear on
their own AND ovarian cysts rarely become cancerous. The ''bad''
news is that some CAN grow and become quite painful or present
fertility problems(and then surgery may be an option). Also,
many women who develop ovarian cysts also develop fibroids (I had
a hysterectomy for fibroids about 2 years ago, but was able to
keep my ovaries which were problem-free) - particularly African
American women. But then, I've known women with both cysts and
fibroids that have successfully had children and never had
surgery - all depends if they start causing pain, bleeding, or
fertility problems (by the way I had 2 kids with absolutely NO
I'm in Kaiser so I have no doctor recommendation. I have had
ovarian cysts. When I was 30 I had one that was surgically
removed--turned out to be some little balloon of liquid. In my
late 30s I was getting them as a result of ovulation. I forget
exactly what it was but now I take a low estrogen birth control
pill to control the painful ovulation/cyst issue. I hope you
get responses that give you more technical insight but at least
I wanted to let you know that when I was having them, no one was
acting like it was that unusual. However in my circumstance it
was clearly related to ovulation and so I was never conscerned
I've had two ''dermoid'' ovarian cysts, which I understand to mean
they are made up of solid materials (like skin, hair, etc.)
instead of fluid. My impression is the fluid-filled kind are
more common, so I don't know whether my experience will be
relevant, but here goes. Both were removed surgically, the
first in 1976 (when I was 12) and the second in 2000 during a c-
section. I didn't know the second one existed until the doctors
checked out my ovaries during the c-section. Although the 1976
surgery was an ordeal, my understanding is that nowadays they
remove this type of ovarian cyst laparoscopically, which would
be much easier. As to size, I was told the second one was 7 cm
and that that was large. Both were benign, but the first one
caused some discomfort. I've only had the one child, but no
fertility problems on that one. Both my surgeries were at
Kaiser, so I don't have any non-Kaiser doctor recommendations,
although the Oakland Kaiser doctors on the second one were
terrific. I hope you will be reassured. My experience is these
cysts are inconvenient, and a little disconcerting, but no big
deal in the great scheme of things. Good luck!
A couple of years ago, while I was newly pregnant, the
ultrasound showed a large ovarian cyst on my left ovary. Since
surgery was out of the question because of the pregnancy, and it
was not increasing in size, I was told to wait until after birth
to do anything, if at all about it. I was told that many women
live with cysts such as this one for quite some time, forever
even, without complications. I was also told that if it ever
caused me any pain that it should be removed. I asked, what kind
of pain? because I had been having unusual cramping and lower
abdominal discomfort that I now realized must have been the
cyst. The doctor said ''oh, you'll know. It will be really bad
So, I left thinking OK, so if I don't want surgery right away
I'm just supposed to wait for this thing to bother me. Little
did I know what the ''really bad pain'' was going to be. A year
after my birth I was admitted to the emergency room in the most
horrific pain of my life. 10 times worse that birth (and I did
that without pain medication). I ended up having to have
surgery a week later to remove the cyst and my now dead ovary.
It was only after the fact that I questioned why I hadn't been
better warned about the potential pain and complications and
loss of my ovary due to leaving the cyst in until I was in
severe pain. I then much after the surgery ran across a ''list of
warning signs of ovarian cysts'' in a women's health book I have
stating clearly that if any unusual sharp and persistent lower
abdominal pain, nausea, cramping with bowel movements or
intercourse is present that a doctor should be consulted
immediately. I HAD NOT BEEN TOLD to watch out for these
symptoms by my doctor and if I had I would have realized that
the consistent pain I went through for almost a year before the
removal of the cyst was indication of a serious problem. I had
just assumed that the different pains I was going through was
gas or my body going back to normal after pregnancy and birth.
I am sorry for the long-winded story but maybe it helps. My
point is that I too experienced an information void with my
doctors and if you are having all these serious symptoms and
have a large cyst, my advice is to get it removed immediately. I
do not take surgery lightly, I had never had surgery before the
cyst removal so my recommendation is very serious. I do not want
anyone to have to go throught the excrutiating pain I did if it
can be avoided. to my understanding, Large cysts like yours (and
the one I had) are much different that small reoccurring cysts
which can be treated in several ways.
Feel free to email if you have unanswered questions.
I have an ovarian cyst on my right ovary that forms and then
disappears as the egg is released with each cycle. From what I
remember, there are a few kinds of cysts and mine is supposidly
relatively harmless. I have just read a book about hormones and
women that recommends natural projesterone cream to shrink or
eliminate cysts. Apparently, many (most) women are estrogen
dominant due to environmental exposure to estrogen-like
substances and this throws the estrogen/progesterone balance
off, causing cysts, uterine tumors and other problems. Check out
the book ''what you doctor won't tell you about premenopause.''
After several months of experiencing mild cramping in my lower
abdomen, I saw a gynecologist who informed me she'd felt a small cyst
on my right ovary. I am very nervous about the possibility that the
cyst could be cancerous. Can anyone out there share a similar
experience? I am particularly worried because I am 34 years old and
have never been diagnosed with a cyst before. I have friends who've
had them, but all in their 20's. I don't have a family history and my
doctor doesn't SEEM worried, but has sent me for an ultrasound to rule
out a problematic cyst or malignancy. She said the cyst might have
formed because my period is only recently returned after over a year
of breast feeding and it's possible that it would be gone by the time
I have the ultrasound. Has anyone had that experience? I have to
wait two weeks for the ultrasound which seems like an eternity, and
knowing about other good outcomes will be helpful.
I had an ovarian cyst. It was painful, so I had it removed
laproscopically. The ultrasound ruled out any bad possibilities
(cancerous-looking) and confirmed why it hurt (it was bleeding).
While I could have opted to not have surgery, the cyst really
hurt so I wanted to end the pain. With the laproscope, removing
an ovarian cyst is an outpatient procedure. I went to work the
2nd day after my surgery with no pain. I know you must be
worried, but ovarian cysts can occur at any age. AND they are
very rarely cancerous. Best wishes for a quick recovery from your
I'm not sure what type of cysts you have, but three years ago when I was 31, I
was diagnosed with dermoid cysts on both ovaries, with one ovary being the size
of an orange. I didn't really notice any symptoms, other than having to go pee
alot since the one cyst infected ovary was so large it pressed on my bladder. The
cysts were only discovered during a routine physical exam. In any case,
everything turned out fine - they took out both cysts, both were benign (which I
think is usual for dermoid cysts), and my ovaries are fine. I now have a 1 1/2
year old little boy and am pregnant with my second.
I've had ovarian cysts a few times in my life - once when I was about 21 and
again in my 30's. Each time they've disappeared by themselves. The first time I
had one large cyst that disappeared within a year.The second round of cyst
lasted some time and my ob/gyn would "keep tabs" on it to see if it was growing -
it grew a little then disappeared. The third time they were VERY small and
never grew. In my early 40's I had REAL problems with uterine fibroids (alot of
women have cysts AND fibroids - so don't be surprised if that shows up on the
ultrasound) and ended up opting for a hysterectomy BUT strangely enough my
ovaries were FINE and weren't "touched". From my doctor as well as from my
friends and family (ovarian cysts and fibroids are VERY common in African
American women - and that's my experience) I know that ovarian cysts and
fibroids are RARELY cancerous (but doctors always check it out) but CAN cause
infertility problems - and sometimes "quality of life" issues: discomfort, pain,
and with fibroids - unbelievably heavy cyclical bleeding. Also in some cases the
cysts/fibroids can threaten other organs. Doctors may just leave the cyst alone
(same for fibroids) and monitor it for growth and/or see if it disapears- if there's a
possible fertility issue and you want to have kids,then laser surgery is usually a
viable solution - sometimes growing cysts/fibroids are treated with the "pill" (not
of course if you're trying to get pregnant). If the cysts/fibroids are VERY large,
growing, and threatening other organs then traditional surgery removal or
even removing the entire ovary(ies) might be indicated. BUT I REALLY
WOULDN'T WORRY. It is EXTREMELY unlikely that you have ANYTHING
to be concerned about. Its very likely that "nothing" will need to be done but to
monitor the cysts.
I had a tiny, follicle sized ovarian cyst upon getting pregnant which was
grapefruit sized by birth - pregnancy hormone mega-excitement. It had to come
out, both to make sure it wasn't malignant (it wasn't) and because it was so
huge, but despite its enormity the fabulous surgeon to whom I was referred, Dr.
James Sakamoto, was able to do it laparoscopically. I was out of the hospital
and nursing the baby that afternoon! Your cyst is probably as they described,
but even if they decide to take it out to be on the safe side, if they aren't alarmed
(they can tell a lot by texture and other clues)you should try not to be either.
Your dr. should have explained that there are "functional" and
non-functional cysts. I've had both. (I've also had surgery on both of my
ovaries, once to remove a benign tumor, once to remove cysts.) Functional cysts
come and go with your cycle, and are not something dr.s recommend treating --
they self-resolve. Non-functional cysts stay on your ovaries through several
cycles or longer. The ultrasound should indicate whether the object is
fluid-filled (cyst) or more solid, in which case it may be a tumor, possibly benign.
That -- fluid or solid -- should be information you can get out of the ultrasound
tech with informal questions during the ultrasound -- ask her/him to let you see
the screen during the ultrasound, and ask questions about anything they freeze
the screen for and measure.
If it's "just" a cyst, i.e. not a tumor, then you can a) do nothing; b)
treat with hormones and then take a wait and see attitude; or c) opt for
surgery to remove it. I've actually done all three, but because of other
health issues I ditched the hormone treatment pretty quickly. The main
problem with option "a" is if ovulation is really painful. This is
sometimes a function of the size and placement of the cyst, as well as your pain
threshold. The main problem with option "c" is, well, it's surgery.
Good luck. Keep asking questions.
I have had cysts on my ovaries on and off for many years now. I can tell you
that while they can really hurt (I have two right now) they are not usually
dangerous. If you'd like to e-mail me I would be happy to talk with you in
person and reassure you!
I am a family physician and see patients with this type of pain at least 5
times a day. Ovarian "cysts" can be very painfull, or a lingering pain that can
last for months. They are common at any pre-menopausal age and are not
dangerous. The ultrasound will reassure you that it is not cancerous. If there
are chambers in the cyst or if it is larger that 5 centimeters, your physician may
want to biopsy it. If it is solid, it still may be a benign tumor. Unfortunately,
ovarian cancers rarely hurt. The treatment for "cysts" is advil (I like alleve 1 to
2 twice a day) or if you get them often, going on the birth control pill helps. A
cyst forms on your ovary every time you ovulate. You need this cyst to make the
normal hormones that make you have your periods. Sometimes the cyst just
gets too big, but eventually gets absorbed or bursts. I hope you feel better soon.
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