Ovarian Cancer Expert Forum
Postmenopausal complex cyst
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Postmenopausal complex cyst

.I am 72 years of age and just diagnosed with a 7.1 x 6.3 x 5.8 cm ovarian complex cyst may be serous cyst or municous cyst.  I am scheduled to meet with a gynocologist/oncologist to schedule surgery.  What kind of surgery will this be?  Also, how long would I be in the hospital?  Also, it said when I meet with the gynocologist/oncologist I should have a list of questions.  I don't know what questions to ask.  I need help and I am a complete wreck.  At my age I can't believe this.  Also, I have no idea how long I have had this because the last time I saw a gynocologist was 40 years ago.  I know that is bad and I am ashamed to say that I never went to the doctor.  Could someone let me know what questions I should ask. . The gynocologist said that he cannot remove the cyst because it might be cancer and that's why he sent me to a gynocologist/onocologist.  He said that a gny/oncol is the only one that can remove it. .  What does serous cyst and municous cyst mean?
242604_tn?1328124825
HI There - looks like I answered your question already.
here is what I said:
It sounds like you are getting very good care.
A cyst of the ovary after the menopause is not related to ovulation (which is the most common reason for ovarian cysts in the younger ages).

Most of postmenopausal cysts on the ovaries are benign growths called tumors or neoplasms.Some of these tumors can be malignant.

The usual approach is to start with laparoscopy and remove the whole ovary and fallopian tube.
Sometimes it is worth considering the prophylactic removal of the other ovary.
If this is a benign tumor, that maybe all the surgery needed.
That is a day surgery and does not require staying in the hospital overnight.
If it is necessary to perform a full hysterectomy for a benign tumor, most women will spend one night in the hospital.
If a malignancy is found, a full hysterectomy is performed.
here is a very good link on that surgery

best wishes

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/ovarian-cancer-diagnosis-and-staging-beyond-the-basics
3 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
As I understand it "serous" and "mucinous" are just two different types of tissue.  Serous tissues secrete a clear fluid and mucinous tissues secrete mucous.  I don't think it has anything to do with whether it's cancer or not -- a cyst has to be made out of some type of tissue.

Please don't panic over being sent to a gynecological oncologist.  They have about 7 years (? - maybe more) specialized training after medical school, and there's absolutely no harm in being operated on by an expert.  If you're operated on by a regular gynecologist or a general surgeon and it does turn out to be cancer, you might need a second surgery to finish what needs to be done.  The gyn/onc can do it all, and if it turns out to be a very simple surgery that's fine.

But don't assume it's cancer!  They won't know that until they look at it under a microscope.  

When I met with my gyn/onc the first time, we knew the thing on my ovary was a tumor, not a cyst, but we thought it was probably benign.  So the initial plan was to do a laparoscopic surgery (they make tiny incisions, insert a camera, and do all the work with tiny tools), take that ovary and its tube, and I would be only one night in the hospital.  But we also talked about the possibility of cancer, and we agreed if the tumor was cancerous she would abandon the laparoscopic procedure, make a big incision (laparotomy), take out both ovaries, both fallopian tubes, the uterus, and the cervix as well as any tumor tissue she could, and I would spend four or five nights in the hospital.  If it's cancerous they also do "staging" -- they take samples of tissue from several different areas to see how far it has spread, and that can be important in deciding what kind of treatment to follow up with.

The gyn/onc needs to make some decisions once she sees what's inside.  They'll take a quick look at the cyst under the microscope during the surgery, to see if it's malignant or benign.  So she needs to know what to do next.  For instance, if it's benign (harmless) do you want her to take just that ovary and leave the rest?  Or, do you feel this is a good opportunity to have both ovaries removed?  Do you want your uterus removed?  If it's benign, you probably have a lot of options to choose from.

And you can and should tell the surgeon anything you're especially concerned about.  Make sure she knows about any other medical conditions you have, allergies to medications, etc.  

I would ask about what kind of help you would need when you get home if they do have to do a big incision.  If you line up some friends and relations to help with laundry and errands and it turns out you don't need them, you can invite them all over for a celebration party instead!

You must be awfully scared, but please try not to be.  I ended up with the big incision and extensive surgery, but my recovery was easy and pretty quick, and I honestly felt incredibly well when I got home.  A year later I had a laparoscopic procedure, came home the same day, and when I woke up the next morning I had to remind myself I'd just had surgery.   It had been more than 50 years since I'd spent a night in a hospital, and it's all changed for the better.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your input.  I go on the 14th to see the gyn/oncologist.  The gyn did take a ROMA blood test and it came back negative, I got the calll Tuesday, but he said that I still have to go to the oncologist.  Also I have to bring all my scans on a disk to the appt.  I also have a large cyst on my liver and small ones on my kidneys and small nodules on my lung.  I had gallbladder surgery 3 years ago and the last time was over 50 years when I gave birth.
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