I have a 10cm dermoid cyst on my right ovary, Im 56 years of age. I have had a blood test that doesnt show any cancer signs, I am in no pain. To have this removed, Im scared that I have to have a hysterectomy, is this the case?
Any advise would be appreciated
Benign ovarian cysts (dermoids included) do not require removal of ANY organs and certainly not your uterus unless you have a surgeon who needlessly removes organs (there are plenty out there since only 2% of hysterectomies and oophorectomies are done for a cancer diagnosis). Dermoid cysts are VERY RARELY cancerous and if you do not have a predisposition for ovarian cancer, your lifetime risk is less than 2%.
I was over-treated for a benign 9.5 cm ovarian cyst (cystadenoma). Even though the frozen section done while I was under anesthesia was benign, my gyn of 20 years proceeded to remove all my sex organs. I have connected with many women with similar stories. Hysterectomy and oophorectomy (as well as c-section) are the most overused surgeries in the U.S. as well as some other countries. 76% of hysterectomies do not even meet ACOG criteria.
There are surgeons who have good cystectomy skills which would give you the best chance of keeping your ovary (and the rest of your female sex organs). But unfortunately, it can be difficult to know who has these skills and will do what is in your best interests versus their financial interests. Time is money and it is easier/quicker to remove an ovary. I recall a woman in CA having to go out-of-network to have a cystectomy (even though she was past reproductive age). She appealed to her insurance company and they denied it but the CA Insurance Board intervened and her insurance company had to pay 100% of the costs as well as a fine for trying to force her to use an in-network surgeon who wanted to remove her ovary.
I had a 10x11 cm dermoid cyst on my right ovary back in 2009. I had surgery because it was causing my pain. I highly doubt you would have a hysterectomy just because of this. I didn't even lose my ovary in my operation.
Hi, I came across your post as I was searching for my own answers, I read this at another site and felt it would be relevant to your situation, this is a reply to another woman asking a similar question at his (the doctor's) blog:
"Dr. Edward Ramirez, MD, FACOGJune 18, 2010 at 11:09 AM
I don't necessarily see a need to remove both ovaries as long as the opposite ovary is normal. Yes, you probably have a few months to years of ovarian function for natural hormone production, but you are probably going to enter into menopause somewhat soon. In women over 48 years old with an ovarian tumor, it is standard practice to counsel to remove both ovaries if one is diseased. Ovarian cancer is a deadly cancer and often not diagnosed until too late. That is why the treatment is more aggressive.
Dermoid tumors in general are benign and the chances of a malignancy within are very small. A cytectomy is usually adequate for this tumor and the ovary does not have to be removed. But one has to individualize treatment and come to a mutuallly acceptable decision. If you are absolutely keen on keeping your ovary, and willing to take the risk of a malignancy in that ovary, then your doctor should be willing to work with you and do a cystectomy. If the pathology returns showing a malignancy, even if the whole ovary were removed, they would still have to proceed in the same way with additional surgery to remove the remaining ovary and uterus, and radiation or chemotherapy."
The Doctors name is Dr. Ramirez, and he writes a blog at Womens Health and Fertility, good luck!
The following statements from the blog cited above are concerning especially knowing that female organ removal is grossly overused here in the U.S.:
"In women over 48 years old with an ovarian tumor, it is standard practice to counsel to remove both ovaries if one is diseased. Ovarian cancer is a deadly cancer and often not diagnosed until too late. That is why the treatment is more aggressive."
Medical studies show that ovary removal in women who are NOT at increased risk for ovarian cancer does more harm than good.
The ovaries of INTACT women (women with all their female parts) continue to produce hormones into their 80's. These hormones are ESSENTIAL to good health and well-being. Medical studies CLEARLY show many increased health risks and reduced quality of life after ovary removal (heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, memory and cognition impairment, Parkinsonism, dementia, vision changes, skin changes, poor sleep quality, depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, more severe hot flashes.
Dr. William Parker who uses organ-sparing procedures says that post-menopausal ovarian cysts are more common than many realize and MOST of these cysts are benign (just as they are in premenopausal women) and do not require removal of ovary(ies) IF you have the right doctor.
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