Consider These Treatment Options for Ovarian Cysts

Most women have ovarian cysts at some point. These fluid-filled sacs that form on the ovaries usually go away on their own, and cause little or no discomfort. However, on occasion a cyst forms that is large enough and painful enough to warrant medical treatment.

If you suffer from painful ovarian cysts, the expert OB/GYNs at North Texas OB/GYN can help you manage your ovarian cyst pain and provide surgical intervention if needed to get rid of a stubborn cyst.

Types of ovarian cysts

Most women who get ovarian cysts get what are known as “functional" cysts, which form around your monthly menstrual cycle. Either the follicle that is supposed to release an egg doesn't release it on time, causing a cyst to form around the follicle, or once the egg is released, a cyst forms inside the follicle due to excess hormone production. 

Both types of functional cysts usually dissolve on their own and your body goes back to normal. You may not even know you had a cyst. Other types of cysts may not go away, and may need surgery to drain or remove them.

Cystadenomas

Cystadenomas form on the surface of your ovary and are full of a watery, mucous material that may need to be drained. Otherwise, the cysts can swell and cause torsion of your ovary, leading to pain or even infertility.

Endometriomas

Endometriomas are made of endometrial cells, and also form on the outside of your ovaries. If you have endometriosis, you could be at risk for these types of cysts, which can cause scarring and the formation of extra tissue in your pelvic region.

Teratomas 

Finally, teratomas, also known as dermoid cysts, can form inside the ovary from embryonic cells. These cysts may be present from birth, but start to grow during a woman’s reproductive years. 

Growing cysts typically need surgical removal, as the cells develop into different human tissues, such as bone, teeth, or hair. Around 2% of these types of cysts are cancerous.

Symptoms of ovarian cysts

Ovarian cysts often cause symptoms similar to those you may have during your period, but can arise at any time of the month. These include bloating, pelvic aches, heaviness, or pressure, and a dull or sharp pain on one side over the corresponding ovary. (Sometimes you can have cysts on each side at the same time.)

If you experience sudden, severe abdominal or pelvic pain, have pain plus vomiting or fever, or show signs of shock such as cold, clammy skin, weakness, lightheadedness, or rapid respiration, you could have a burst cyst or a torsion and need immediate medical care.

Consider these treatment options for ovarian cysts

The two main types of surgical treatment we offer for ovarian cysts are laparoscopy (closed surgery) and laparotomy (open surgery). 

Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is done through a tiny incision, using tiny instruments and a special camera to guide the surgeon as the cyst is aspirated, drained, or removed. This is the usual approach for smaller cysts (10 cm or less in diameter).

Laparotomy

Laparotomy is an open surgery that involves surgically exposing the ovary so a larger cyst can be removed. This is the favored approach if the cyst is large or is a teratoma that may not be benign.

If you’re experiencing constant ovarian cyst issues, please reach out to our staff at North Texas OB/GYN. You can call our Plano, Texas, clinic at 469-240-1866 or securely send a message to our team online.

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