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Should I have my ovarian cysts removed?

I am in my mid 30s, and I have a 4.4 cm complex cyst and a 3.6 cm solid mass, both on the same ovary. I have had them for a few years and within the last year and a half they have both changed and grown about 1cm larger. My doctor thinks the mass is probably a dermoid.

My question is, should I have them removed? The fact that they continue to grow and change at each follow up has me a bit concerned. My doctor said they would not recommend surgery until they get to be 6 cm, but that seems strange since it would be easier to just remove them now while they are small. I have intermittent pain, but nothing too horrible. There is a history of ovarian cancer in my family.

I would feel better just having them removed now for piece of mind, but is that crazy? My doctors seem to think so. Anyone have a similiar situation with some advice or perspective?
1 Responses
Avatar universal
So you're sure these are the same two cysts you've had for years versus a new one(s)? (Imaging is not exact so it can be difficult to tell if there is one or multiple cysts.) It is standard to wait until cysts get a certain size (I had read / heard around 7cm) before surgically removing them because most cysts resolve on their own and you don't want to undergo surgery unnecessarily. However, if the one is a dermoid, those don't go away. But, again, imaging is not exact and so it may not be a dermoid.

If you do undergo surgery, you will want to make sure the surgeon has good cystectomy skills so that just the cysts are removed and your ovary preserved for all its hormones. Removal of even one ovary has been shown to increase risk of dementia and parkinsonism.

Is your ob/gyn not concerned about your family history of ovarian cancer? Although if they are indeed the same cyst(s) you've had for awhile it would seem that they wouldn't be cancerous.

I wish you the best with whatever you decide. Please keep us posted.
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