Ovarian cysts are abnormal fluid filled sacs that sometimes develop on the ovaries. Ovarian cysts are not uncommon and occur through all age groups. Commonly encountered are the non-cancerous functional cysts either follicular cysts containing the eggs or the corpus luteal cysts that are formed after the release of the egg from the follicular cyst.Other types of non-cancerous cysts are cystadenomas, endometriomas and rarely non-cancerous form of teratomas.
The other group of ovarian cysts involves cancerous ones.
Often, the ovarian cysts are asymptomatic. It may be diagnosed on a pelvic examination by a doctor, or on ultrasound scan. Sometimes it may cause symptoms such as abdominal pressure, bloating tummy, difficulty to pass stools, frequent urination and rarely abnormal patterns of uterine bleeding.
Diagnosis is usually by ultrasound but sometimes may require MRI to confirm malignancy along with biochemical markers as CA125.
Treatment can be watchful waiting especially in physiological cysts for their natural regression and disappearance. Sometimes, in not so large cysts, especially with endometriomas hormonal treatment can be effective. Large and persistent cysts or those causing acute symptoms require surgical treatment.
When surgery is indicated, laprascopic removal of the cysts is the current method of choice. It requires hospital stay of just 1 or 2 days. It is less invasive, so the patient experiences less postoperative pain, less postoperative chance of infection and faster resumption of normal activities.