Ovarian Cyst

An ovarian cyst occurs when a fluid-filled sac grows on the ovary.  Ovarian cysts are common and can at least develop once in a women’s lifetime, however, these cysts are painless and asymptomatic.

What are the causes?

Exact cause is not known

What are the symptoms?

Most of the times they do not cause any symptoms, it could be accidentally picked up on ultrasound. But, sometimes if the ovarian cyst is big it can symptoms such as

  • Lower tummy pain or discomfort
  • Pain during periods
  • Pain during sex
  • Can have pressure on bladder and you may have feeling like you want to pass urine frequently.
  • Tummy looks swollen; sometimes you can feel the lump in the tummy.
  • Rarely you can have severe pain and vomiting, this can happen when the ovary twists on itself. This may require urgent medical treatment.
What tests will be required for diagnosis?
  • Doctor would do physical examination (feeling the tummy and may do internal examination) to see if they can feel the cyst.
  • You would be advised an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Sometimes, CT or an MRI scan may be required.
What are the treatment options available?
  • If the ovarian cysts are small and not causing any symptoms, then you doctor may suggest wait and watch, you may be advised to repeat ultrasound scan after some months
  • If they are big and causing pain and discomfort, then you will be advised surgery to remove the tumor. Depending on you age you may be advised to remove only the tumor and retain the ovary or remove the whole ovary containing the tumor or you may be advised to remove whole uterus with cervix and both ovaries and fallopian tubes (THBSO). This can be done by both open surgery and through keyhole surgery.
  • Keyhole surgery is possible when tumor is small. Advantages of having keyhole surgery are that you are going to have smaller cuts, faster recovery, less pain, early discharge from hospital and early return to daily activities.