What are Ovarian Cysts?
Ovarian cysts are closed fluid-filled sacs or pockets that form within or on the surface of an ovary.
Ovary: Every woman has two ovaries located on either side of the uterus as part of the female reproductive system. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. Ovaries make hormones (estrogen & progesterone) to trigger menstruation and release a tiny egg every month during childbearing age of a female.
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Facts About Ovarian Cysts
- It is very common and most women have ovarian cysts at some time during their lives.
- Most of them are painless, harmless and does not cause any symptom or discomfort to the woman.
- They may disappear without treatment within a few months.
- But in some cases, ovarian cysts may rupture or get twisted and cause serious problems that should be checked by doctor.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts
A growing cyst in the ovaries may cause following symptoms:
- Painful menstruation and abnormal bleeding
- Weight gain
- Abdominal bloating and pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Painful bowel movements
- Difficulty urinating, or frequent need to urinate
- Severe pelvic pain before or during the menstrual cycle
- Pain during or after intercourse
- Dull ache in the lower back or thighs
- Breast tenderness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite, feeling full quickly
Complicated or serious symptoms indicating ruptured cyst or ovarian torsion include:
- Severe or sharp abdominal or pelvic pain
- Faintness or dizziness
- Rapid breathing
Laparoscopic Management of Ovarian Cyst
Ovarian cysts can be certainly removed by laparoscopy under general anaesthesia.
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that requires tiny incisions near the navel to insert small laparoscopic instruments into the patient’s abdomen to remove the cyst. Laparoscope is attached with a camera on the end to facilitate better view of patient’s abdominal anatomy on monitor for the surgeon. Carbon dioxide gas is also filled in patient’s abdomen to give better view of the organs. Laparoscope is moved inside the abdomen to locate cysts and once they are traced, small incisions near the location of cysts are made to allow the entry of surgical instruments required to remove the cyst. Sometimes tissue is also removed for testing purpose.
Advantages of Laparoscopy Over Open Surgery or Laparotomy
- A safe, minimally invasive & quick procedure
- Small incisions
- Less scarring
- Reduced postoperative pain
- Less blood loss
- Shorter hospitalisation
- Faster recovery time than open surgery
- Earlier return to normal activity and/or work
- Less chances of major complications after laparoscopy