Ovarian cyst
April 20, 2017 5:31 AM   Subscribe

Anyone here had a simple ovarian cyst of 5-6 cm? What happened to it? Did it shrink down? If not after how much monitoring did they remove it and how was the surgery? I have my 2 month follow up ultrasound on Tuesday for my 57 mm one Thanks
posted by barexamfreak to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm pregnant and had (have?) one about that size. I guess it is fairly common in early pregnancy. At about 6 weeks it was 5cm, at 9 weeks, it was around 4cm. I can't remember what it was at 11 weeks, but it was smaller. I never had any pain from it- but they said that it could be excruciating if it were to get twisted. I hope yours shrinks on its own.
posted by sulaine at 6:45 AM on April 20, 2017

I had one about that size and it was causing me to have really heavy periods. They removed it under general anaesthetic and put in a mirena coil at the same time. I've felt much better (and haven't had any periods) ever since. It was a very easy surgery to recover from and was no big deal at all.
posted by hazyjane at 7:05 AM on April 20, 2017

I have PCOS, so when I've had my ultrasound, they've also found ovarian cysts . Twice they've been of on the bigger side (4-5), and I've been called to have a check up after a couple of months, and both times it has shrunk in the mean time.
posted by mummimamma at 7:10 AM on April 20, 2017

Depends what kind of cyst it is. Many rise and fall quickly. I have two abut that size, though, which are endometriomas, and I've had them for over a decade. Mine were found by ultrasound and monitored for over a year. I did have a laparoscopy (which diagnosed them definitively, as they were drained and material tested--they regained same volume right after this, though). They don't cause me any particular trouble (adhesions from endometriosis are more problematic in my case.)
posted by Riverine at 7:29 AM on April 20, 2017

I can't speak to the simple ovarian cyst, I had a dermoid. Those don't resolve on their own, you either live with it if it's small, or have it removed if it's huge and growing (MINE). Mine was ENORMOUS (12cm by the time it was out, I think). It was removed laparoscopically with ROBOTS. The surgery was fine, I had 5 or 6 little incisions (an extra because it was so HUGE), I was recovered and back to work and normal in 10 days, no complications. My pain levels were not a problem, I got pregnant with my son a couple of years later, all my lady business seems to be in reasonably good working order.

I think IF you have to have it removed, the surgery would be similar, and you will be totally okay.
posted by Aquifer at 7:44 AM on April 20, 2017

Like Aquifer, I had a huge Dermoid cyst on my ovary. It was removed via surgery much like a c-section (this was 25+ years ago). I was told that it might affect my ability to conceive, it did not. I had two children with no issues getting pregnant.
posted by jennstra at 9:31 AM on April 20, 2017

Another person with a really big dermoid ovarian cyst here - except in my case no one knew it was there, including me, until this happened. I should stress that this is a rare occurrence, and in my case it was bad enough that they had to take out the whole ovary. The doctor still reassured me I would eventually be able to become pregnant if I so chose (although by that point the pain was so bad I interrupted him to say "whatever, just do what you gotta do and FIX THIS"), I was in the hospital for a day and a half after the operation and spent a week taking it easy at home and today I'm fine. The only aftereffects now are that I have a surgical scar, but that is due to this being a very quick-and-dirty rush incision in an E.R. operating room.

Again, mine was a very, very rare situation - so rare that in fact that is what may have contributed to the problem, because I just showed up with severe abdominal pain and instead of checking out whether it was ovarian, they just kept testing me for a burst appendix again and again and wondering "why doesn't it look ilke that?" until someone finally gave me an ultrasound. You only have a 3% chance of this even happening to you, and knowing already that there's a cyst there means you can say "hey, check that out, doc" if it happens. (And based on the pain level, trust me, if this does happen to you, you would know.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:40 AM on April 20, 2017

I had one almost that exact size when I was a teenager. I didn't know about it until it swelled when I was ovulating - to the point where I was in extreme pain that landed me in the ER. Because of my youth, they mistook the pain for appendicitis - and in surgery to remove it they found out about the cyst. They left it, as they said it was the kind that normally goes away with treatment. The prescription for me was BCP, it shrank and never returned.

I am now in my late 30s, have never had another incident like that, even though I stopped taking BCP in my early 20s because I get migraines with aura.
posted by pazazygeek at 9:55 AM on April 20, 2017

I had one and it went away on its own. Weirdly, it was accompanied with dizziness associated with fluctuating hormones (according to my gyno.)
posted by egeanin at 11:23 AM on April 20, 2017

If they recommend removal, please ask and make sure they are not doing a morcellation. Morcellation means they use a whirring tool to grind it up into bits that stay in your body. If the cyst turns out to be malignant, that procedure can spread the cancer very widely and very quickly.
posted by metaseeker at 11:31 AM on April 20, 2017

I'll describe my entire experience, since it sounds like you're looking for what to expect. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk or if you have any other questions, I know it can feel really scary.

I wasn't experiencing any pain or symptoms, but I had a sonogram for unrelated reasons and they discovered a large cyst attached to an ovary. It was a simple cyst that they monitored for about 8 weeks before suggesting removal - after 4 weeks, it had grown 1 cm, and after the 2nd 4 weeks it was the same size, so they determined it would likely not go away anytime soon, and due to its size (8cm) they were concerned that it could lead to ovarian torsion if left alone.

They left the decision of when to schedule the surgery up to me, though - they said sooner was better but I wasn't in any immediate danger (just that it could burst and cause pain/other issues if left alone, although I was experiencing no pain or other symptoms from the cyst at that time). I took some time to get a second opinion from a doctor friend, who confirmed that I should have it removed, and then I scheduled the surgery for the next open spot in my doctor's schedule, which was about 2 weeks out at that point.

A week before the surgery, I went to the hospital to fill out some paperwork, pay for the surgery (this was a surprise to me - make sure you are prepared to discuss how you'll pay for it before the surgery itself), and answer some questions about my medical history. A few days after that, I met with my doctor again so she could walk me through the process of how the surgery would work, what the aftercare would be like, what the odds of complications were, etc. She told me at this time that she was bringing in a urologist to watch the surgery because my cyst was pressed really close to my bladder, and she wanted to make sure he was there in case anything happened that required his expertise. She also explained that she would do a laparoscopic surgery, where she only had to make 3 small incisions (which means a less intensive recovery).

The day before the surgery I stopped eating/drinking at midnight I think, and then the next day my boyfriend drove me to the hospital. I waited around for an hour or so and filled out a few more papers, and then was brought to my bed. Shortly after that, they gave me the anesthetic medicine so I don't even remember being brought out of my room, and then I woke up in a recovery room. My boyfriend drove me home and I spent the rest of that day sleeping.

They gave me pain medicine to take regularly (make sure you stay on schedule, it's a lot easier to stay ahead of pain than to catch up if you start feeling bad), so as long as I was stationary I wasn't really in any pain. The main discomfort was when I had to move (to sit up for water, or to go to the bathroom) - although the incisions were small, they still went through my abdominal muscles, which I discovered are involved in every move you make. It wasn't awful, though - just the kind of thing where you grimace the whole movement.

I spent most of this time on the couch instead of in bed, because it's easier to be slightly propped up all the time than shift from lying to sitting up (plus this way my boyfriend/dog wouldn't accidentally disturb me). After about 4-6 days, I was able to start doing more movement on my own (e.g. I could get to the bathroom and sit down/stand up on my own), but I was still taking it easy and not lifting anything or going up stairs, etc.

After 10 days I was almost back to a normal life - jeans were still uncomfortable to wear due to the incision location, for example, but I was going out to eat, working from home, and only experiencing limited pain. At 2 weeks I started going back into the office, and after 4 weeks I resumed my gym routine (although I stayed away from direct ab work - any ab exercises still felt weird like it was pulling on my incisions for about 2 months after that).

Hope that helps!
posted by jouir at 12:49 PM on April 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Regarding the postoperative period, I had a 5 cm dermoid cyst (teratoma) removed by laparoscopy around 10 years ago. The surgery was done (outpatient) on a Thursday morning, I spent until about Saturday afternoon either on the couch or in bed, taking it easy. I took one percoset on the Friday and that was it for pain for me. I was back at work (research lab, combo of on my feet and at a desk) on Monday.
posted by gaspode at 1:31 PM on April 20, 2017

Extreme pain + 7cm cyst (I named it Cecyl!) led to a scheduled laparoscopic surgery about two months later.

Two days before the surgery, we did another ultrasound and it was gone. Just...poof. Went through with the lap because I was still in terrible pain. Turned out it was endometriosis causing the pain, not the cyst that just up and poofed itself out of existence. Recovery from the lap was a few days. I jumped up out of the wheelchair when I was discharged and demanded a bread bowl of soup since I hadn't eaten in a day.
posted by RainyJay at 4:06 AM on April 21, 2017

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