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Post Dermoid Cyst and Ovary Removal Side Effects?

I often read "too much" when I have a health concern, but judging by what I am experiencing after having a large dermoid tumour (complete with all the horrors of hair and teeth) and my right ovary removed, with an endometrial ablation thrown in for fun, it is clear I didn't read enough.  I will be 39 in two days, have two healthy children born by c-section, and other than having a larger incision than planned due to the increased size of the mass, came through the surgery with no complications.

Almost immediately I experienced hot flashes several times a day, I am pretty nauseous even though I am well hydrated, have very little appetite, and feel terribly weepy and sad.  This is not like me at all.  I am pretty sunshiny even premenstruation.  I am very sore at my incision site, which is inexplicably on my left side, even though they took the right ovary and the dermoid was on the right side (any insight into that mystery would be awesome).  

How much of this is due to hormone adjustments?  Anyone suffering from the same symptoms?  If so, how long does it last?  I didn't really expect this sort of reaction, and my doc did not discuss it with me beforehand.  Any anecdotes or commiseration is welcome!  It's nice to read other's experiences and know I am not alone in this, as my friends have not gone through this sort of thing!
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563773 tn?1374246539
The symptoms that you are having can be due to hormonal imbalance. In my opinion you should consult a gynecologist and start with hormone replacemenr therapy. You can also take Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators like Femarelle which derived from a botanical source (Phytoserms) or phytoestrogens which have an estrogenic effect on the body and therefore create a moderated estrogenic effect. Other than that hormonal patches can also be used.

It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.

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Avatar universal
Thank you.  I am really hesitant about hormone replacement therapy as I understand that I may be increasing my risk of certain types of cancers and there is a history of cancer on both my mother's and father's side of the family.  

What are your thoughts on synthetic estrogens?

I have a follow up appointment with my surgeon tomorrow and will see what his thoughts are on the subject.  Thank you for your advice!
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Avatar universal
Hi, how are you feeling and what did your surgeon say? I too have had hot flushes post cyst removal and wondering if my low estrogen state is a permanent situation or hopefully will get better.
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Good news.  My male surgeon also suffered from hot flashes after his ankle surgery.  He explained it as a stress response and it is totally normal.  As for the depression and sadness, he reminded me that I was basically a medically approved heroin addict (I was on morphine) and my emotional instability coincided with my weaning myself off period.  It was just withdrawal.  Phew!

As for my dermoid tumour, it turned out to be one of the largest he had seen since ultrasound technology has become widely used.  He was amazed I had lived with it as long as I did.  I suppose I am just a tough lady!

I am back to the surgeon today.  My stitches were removed on Wednesday and the incision opened on the way home.  I managed to steristrip myself back together and patch it up.  We will see what he says.
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Avatar universal
Wow, that must have been a huge cyst! Glad to hear you are feeling better. I have no doubt my hot flashes are due to estrogen deficiency, as I did have my levels checked and they were quite low, combined with other symptoms as well (dry skin, eyes, lfady parts (sorry TMI!)). Hopefully they will build up again over time, in the meantime I have started on the pill, couldn't deal with them anymore! I am too young for this!!
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Avatar universal
Hi KNS, it's been a year since your surgery and I wondering how you're doing. I've just started reading up on dermoid cysts. My doctor found one 7 years ago and it's grown 4 times in size. I have no pain whatsoever but because it's growing my gyn is strongly suggesting surg. I finally gave into the idea and she asked me to think about whether I want to remove both ovaries, both tubes, no ovaries just the cyst. Too much to think about!
Please share some good news a year after your recovery on how you're doing.
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Avatar universal
Welcome to the community. Wow, 7 years is a long time to have a cyst! How big is it? Since dermoids are benign, you should not need to lose EITHER ovary IF you have a surgeon with good cystectomy (cyst removal) skills. Some doctors don't have these skills or do not want to take the extra time (with possibly no better insurance reimbursement) to do the more delicate cyst removal surgery.

I did not have a dermoid but had a complex cyst and was over-treated (both ovaries, uterus, and tubes were removed) which has caused many more problems than I was warned about or could have possibly imagined. That was 9 years ago and I was 49 at the time. I am shocked and appalled how often women's organs are removed without good reason. Only about 2% of hysterectomies and about 2% of ovary removals are done for a cancer diagnosis.

The ovaries are essential a woman's whole life for every aspect of health. Studies show they produce hormones (estrogen and androgens, some of which can convert into estrogen) until at least about age 80. The ovaries are part of the endocrine system and the removal of one or both can permanently disrupt the whole system. A web search for "pubmed bilateral oophorectomy long term health" will bring up a number of studies that list the increased health risks and reduced quality life aspects of ovary removal.

I can vouch for these very serious and life-altering effects. Although I was 49 at the time of surgery, people mistook me for 30-something. By 4 months post-op, I had aged 15 to 20 years. I lost most of my hair, muscle mass, and skin collagen and subcutaneous fat (that gives skin its youthful volume). The loss of my uterus caused a whole other set of problems since the uterus and uterine ligaments are essential for pelvic integrity, both from an internal organ (bladder and bowel) perspective and from a skeletal perspective. The cutting of the ligaments destroys a woman's figure.

It is critical that we advocate for ourselves since we are the ones who have to live with the consequences. I wish I had done things very differently, the first one being to not assume that my gynecologist of 20 years would do what was best for my health. I wish I had revised the surgical consent form to explicitly state what could and could not be removed and under what circumstances (e.g., cancer versus no cancer as determined by frozen section).

I hope this helps you in deciding how to proceed!
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So sorry that you've had to endure such dramatic changes after the surgery. It's unbelievable what some surgeons do and it's often hard to know which ones to see in the first place.

The surgeon that removed my cyst was luckily good, but he told me the previous gynaecologist of seen years before for endometriosis, was well know to be a butcher (and had rats living in her office). And she operated on me, luckily she didn't think the endometriosis was bad enough to remove. Who refers such poor quality surgeons??

Anyway, how you are feeling better.
Avatar universal
I had an 8cm dermoid cyst removed 6 years ago. The operation went well, key hole surgery. Was lucky to have a surgeon who loved removing them and did so with care. Also had endometriosis removed.

In the last 6 years I've experienced symptoms I've never had before: anger at PMS time, hot flushes, irregular cycle and sometimes it stops altogether, dehydration, dry eyes, anxiety and heart palpitations. Had never experienced these symptoms before having the dermoid removed.

I think some of the ovary had to be removed, but how much I'm not sure. It's reassuring that others are having some similar experiences. Am seeing an endocrinologist at the moment to check differing levels of hormones, so hopefully soon I'll know if anything can be done to help feel normal again. I was 39 when it was removed and am 45 now.
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