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2nd surgery for ovarian dermoid cyst and not thrilled about it!

I had a R dermoid cyst removed surgically in 2009 at a University hospital. I was sent to a higher level hospital at the time due to being “high risk” I was obese, asthmatic, diabetic. I was originally scheduled for robotic surgery, that failed they turned to laparoscopic, that failed and I ended up having a laparotomy. I had a lot of complications but in the end the large dermoid was removed without removing my ovary , although it looks mutilated. Now in 2019 I have another dermoid but on the L side and I have to have it removed surgically as well. I am quite upset about this because I had a very harsh recovery after the first surgery and my health is much worse now. I am no longer active, I am disabled, I have been fighting neck cancer with mets for 7 long years (it is currently in my neck, thyroid bed, lymph nodes, right lung) . I am obese, copd, emphysema, chronic pain, back issues, weakness, tremors, sleep apnea, POTS, PCOS,  heavy and very painful periods, many different health issues. I have been working through different specialists getting surgical clearances just to make sure it is safe for me to have this surgery again due to all my other problems. I am 36 years old, infertile and have been through cancer treatments several times so will not be having any children. I absolutely do not want to have this surgery yet a third time and I have such problems when I do have my period, I would like to both my ovaries removed. Maybe even a complete hysterectomy. If I have to go through this again, with all my issues and my history of this, I think it is reasonable to request this. My ovaries have never produced the correct hormones, so I don’t feel fearful of HRT.

I really wondered if anyone has experienced having to go through this multiple times? I have heard not much luck out of friends or family who requested similar procedures from their gyn. So I am curious. I wish it truly was “my body my choice”. Looking for any similar experiences. I am absolutely dreading going through this again. It was so hard for me to make it through last time and I was much healthier at that time.

Thanks
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Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
I am sorry you are dealing with this on top of all your other health problems. I really feel for you!

How big is the cyst and are they sure it is a dermoid? They cannot always tell the type of cyst on imaging. Does the imaging report mention other types of cysts it could be?

It is best to keep all your female organs as they have lifelong functions. Removal of any one part (the uterus, one or both ovaries) has been shown by numerous studies to increase our risks for many health problems such as heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, dementia, parkinsonism, mood disorders, sexual dysfunction and even some types of cancer such as colorectal and lung.

The HERS Foundation educates women about the lifelong, non-reproductive functions of the female organs including but not limited to normal ovarian function. Many studies on the harms of bilateral oophorectomy can be found in PubMed via a search for something like "pubmed bilateral oophorectomy increased health risks". Some studies such as out of the Mayo Clinic have shown that removal of even one ovary does more harm than good.

"Surgical menopause" is a misnomer since intact women's ovaries produce hormones their whole lives for optimal health. Estrogen levels fall quite a bit but testosterone levels gradually increase after menopause and reach reproductive levels in the 70-79 decade. Some of that testosterone is converted into estrogen as needed.

My organs were unnecessarily removed at age 49 and I aged horrifically fast and could barely function, physically, mentally or emotionally (became severely depressed / suicidal and could not think clearly or remember anything). It was as if a switch was turned off and my whole world turned upside down. It destroyed my physique too since the ligaments that are severed to remove the uterus are the pelvis' support structures keeping our hips, spine and rib cage where they belong.

I hope this helps you understand how important these organs are to every aspect of our being.
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