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Any advice for ovarian cyst surgery?

Hi, I have a cyst on one of my ovaries and I am having my operation to remove it on Thursday. I’m really nervous as I’ve never had surgery before and the whole situation has come as a bit of a shock. Does anyone have any tips or advice on how to prepare for surgery and what to expect for recovery? Thank you.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
I'm sorry you are going through this.

How large is the cyst and what type is it? Do you have a copy of the imaging report describing it?  Was it just found or have you had it for awhile and been monitoring it via periodic ultrasounds?

The large majority of ovarian cysts, even complex ones, are benign. And imaging is not perfect so they cannot always tell the type of cyst. For example, hemorrhagic (blood filled) cysts that typically resolve on their own can appear solid (and concerning) on imaging. Multiple adjacent cysts can give the appearance of one big cyst with septations (making it appear complex). Endometriomas can't always be differentiated from other types of cysts, etc. But again, most ovarian cysts are benign and most go away on their own within a few months or so.

Many women end up undergoing surgery unnecessarily. Not only does surgery itself have risks, many women lose an ovary or ovaries when all that needed to be removed was the cyst itself.

Removal of one or both ovaries has been shown to do more harm than good. Numerous studies show that removal of both ovaries (castration), even after menopause, increases risk for many health problems such as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, hip fracture, dementia, memory and cognition impairment, mood disorders (depression, anxiety, irritability), lung cancer, sleep disorders, more severe hot flushes, sexual dysfunction. There have not been as many studies on removal of one ovary but there have been some that show it also increases risk for some health problems. That is also the case for hysterectomy (uterus removal) even when both ovaries are left in place. I won't go into detail here but the uterus is also vital our whole lives. It has numerous functions - anatomical (organ and skeletal integrity), sexual, and hormonal. My connections with many women who have had part or all their organs removed corroborate these findings.

Bottom line, our "reproductive" organs work together and have lifelong functions. Removal of any one part (or multiple parts) causes dysfunction and ensuing health problems. The HERS Foundation has some good info on their site.

If you truly need surgery, it's important to keep all your parts if the cyst is not cancerous (as most are not). This should be dictated by the frozen section(s) done while you are in the operating room. The gynecologic consent forms are usually open ended allowing your surgeon to decide what he/she wants to remove after you are under anesthesia regardless of what was verbally discussed. So you will want to make sure the surgical consent form explicitly states what can (and cannot) be removed under what conditions (e.g., remove only the cyst if the frozen section is benign).

I wish you the best!
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
Did you have surgery? How are you doing?
2 Comments
Hi, sorry things have been a bit hectic so I haven’t had a chance to reply. My surgery was rearranged last minute and it’s scheduled for tomorrow morning. It’s a 10cm cyst and it was an ‘incidental finding’. I haven’t been told what type of cyst it is apart from that it ‘won’t go away on its own’. They haven’t told me much at all to be honest. Thank you for all of your advice, I really appreciate your help.
I hope surgery goes well and the cyst is benign. Post back and let me know how it went. I will be thinking of you.
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