Ovarian cysts

Each month the ovary will develop a follicle that usually grows to around 2 cm in diameter before it ruptures, releasing a healthy egg that can then be fertilised. The ovary is also susceptible to pathological cysts, the most common of which are endometriotic cysts, also known as chocolate cysts. There are a number of other causes of benign cysts, including cyst adenoma, dermoid cysts and fibromas. They all have characteristic ultrasound appearances and can usually be readily distinguished from malignant cysts which are much less common, especially amongst younger women, but it is important to exclude the possiblity of malignancy and the best way to do this is to remove the cyst, with conservation of the normal portion of the ovary if possible and appropriate. An ovarian cyst may also cause the ovary to become slightly unstable, making the chance of torsion about its vascular pedicle more likely. This can result in emergency admission with acute pelvic pain and if not operated on at this point to reduce the torsion can lead to loss of the ovary.

Treatment

Laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy is the treatment of choice for ovarian cysts and quite large cysts up to 20cm in diameter can be dealt with providing the correct techniques are employed. It will involve the surgeon making a small incision in the tummy in order to access the ovaries. A Laparoscope, which is a small tube-shaped microscope, is passed into your abdomen so the surgeon can remove the cysts through the small incision.

Our gynaecologists are experts in this type of surgery and it is usually accomplished as a day case with rapid return to work within a few days.