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I know no one can give me a definitive answer to this question, but any advice would be appreciated. I'm also shamelessly seeking support and hugs right now. I just came from yet another doctor visit. I developed a complex ovarian cyst on the one remaining ovary (left) at 4 weeks post-op, in late Nov. Since then I've had 3 or 4 ultrasounds and an MRI.
The cyst is about 5.4 cm; it varies from ultrasound to ultrasound and has gotten smaller, but is still there. The latest one showed it increased by about 1 cm. My doctor is recommending surgical removal (why should I be surprised?) with a laparoscope. But if it gets a lot bigger I'd have to have the addominal incision again. I really hate to give up my ovary. It's working pretty well, I have no hot flashes or night sweats or anything. I can't take hormones due to a history of blood clots. I'm not too far from natural menopause, age 50. Obviously the thought of more surgery is making me ill. My hair finally just grew back in from the last one!
It doesn't really hurt, comparable to the pain of a mild headache, and only 3-4 times a week. I have no other problems related to the hyst, unless you count no sex drive!
Does anyone have any experience with this? I know this is minor compared to what some of you brave ladies on this list have gone/are going through. My doctor is going to check it again in 2 months, but I think by then my time will be up with her & I'll have to have it out. Maybe I'm just ridiculously optimistic to not be worrying about cancer; I'm more upset about another surgery.
Thanks for listening; I feel so awful about this. Maybe I should just have it out now while it's relatively small and then I can quit waiting for it to "go away" and try to adjust to life without hormones? Help!
Did you read my post just before yours? I'm going through the same thing. If I have this cyst removed, it will be 3 surgeries in one year. Mine is about the same size as yours and not causing me any discomfort at all really. My doctor wants me to wait 6 weeks and come back. If it is still there he wants to laporoscopically remove it. I still have both ovaries and am only 33, so I don't know about taking them out.
My main complaint to the DR was severe pain on my right side. I even spent a night in the hospital being observed for apendicitis. An ultrasound showed an ovarian cyst not much larger than a pea. Then the DR found the polyps, the cystocele, the rectocele, etc. I had TVH on 1/7/02, but I kept both ovaries. Dr said that they checked them during surgery, but the cyst was not visable. He also said that if he knew that I was having discomfort there that he would have done something about it sooner. Hello..... That's what brought me there in the first place! After several trips back to the DR for granulation, I noticed that the pain on the right side really had not subsided. They did an ultrasound and you guessed it, the cyst had grown to 2 cm. Now I am scheduled for laser carterization of the vagina for granulation, removal of the cyst or a possible RSO, and removal of several fibro adnomas from my right breast on June 28th. Just in time for 4th of July vacation.
I went to several good websites and did searches on ovarian cysts. I'm sorry that I didn't write down what they were. There are several types of cysts. The kind that I have is an egg sack that never ruptured to release the egg and just keep filling with fluid or blood. They are usually kidney shaped or round. Mine showed up totally black on the ultrasound. Thought I had cancer, which prompted the search for information on the internet. I can't stand tight fitting clothes around my waist. Thank goodness for the low rise pants craze.
In January I said that this is my year to get myself healthy. Be careful what you ask for. I believe that this will take care of my problems though. Good luck. Hope you will not have to be in pain for long. I can identify with the low (no) sex drive. It just hurts too much for me right now.
Cindy and Karen,
Thanks for your kind replies. Since yesterday, the shock and anger have subsided somewhat, but I'm still depressed. I've done more research. Like you, Karen, I can't remember what the sites were, but they were all pretty discouraging. I'm finding that if this thing was going to go away, it would have done so by now.
Also since yesterday, the pain is turning up a few notches. Maybe because my doctor poked the cyst a lot during the exam and "woke it up", but it's getting my attention more and is harder to pretend it's not a problem.
I'm hoping I can wait until August without too much pain to have surgery, because I have a lot fun stuff coming up this summer. Aug is my slow time at work. But we know our bodies make other plans!
So I'll probably have the lap while it's still "small" enough to be done with a lap. I'm still trying to accept the thought of more surgery. I dread the thought of not being able to take hormones, but I'll think about that tomorrow.
Karen, I turned 50 last Sept, and my goal was to get healthy too! I sure didn't think it would take this path. Not there yet! Maybe after I get this over with I can get my life back!
I posted on this same topic in January, 4 months post op for me. My cyst looked like a big black hole on the screen, hurt like mad. My doc put me on bcp's, said that was the easiest thing to try first, but if it were still there in four weeks then she would go in with a scope and deal with it. The pill worked for me, but I ended up having the scope anyway because my pain continued (adhesions were the culprit). The thought of more surgery was pretty devasting to me also.
My office partner (age 50) has had cysts on both ovaries for several months. Her dr also put her on the pill a few weeks ago, and she is scheduled for a scope the first week on June if there is no improvement.
Maybe you guys should ask about drug treatment for your cysts, maybe you could delay surgery longer or avoid it altogether?
Did your doctor tell you what type of cyst it was?
Last September I had my 4th surgery (laparoscope) to remove a cyst that was pushing fluid into adhesions and getting larger because of it.
Then, in January I had another cyst and was in similar pain. I went to the doctor and got the ultrasound etc. and he said that this cyst was an ovulatory cyst that had gotten a bit out of control and that this cyst would go away on its own. I didn't believe him. I asked him how could he tell the difference between cysts on an ultrasound? He explained the difference, not that I could tell. I left there mad and in disbelief.
My doc told me that it would take about 2-3 cycles to go away and by God, it did. The first 3 weeks were terribly painful and then it just began to shrink.
After about 2 months I had no symptoms at all with my ovary.
Actually, I just had surgery yesterday (5th lap) for 2 adhesions kinking my bowel but that's another story.
Something that concerned me though is why you would have to have an open procedure for removal of a cyst? That could be taken out via lap.
And, why does he think he has to take the whole ovary? Does your doc do laps?
I can't take birth control pills because the last time I did I developed a blood clot in my leg. So that leaves any traditional hormone therapy out as well.
Tiff, my cyst is considered a "complex" cyst. It's fluid-filled, as opposed to solid--I'm learning way more about this than I ever wanted to know! A solid cyst is bad news as it can indicate cancer.
I've been waiting since November for it to go away. 5-1/2 months is enough. Also tried herbal supplements and acupuncture, nothing worked.
At this point I want the ovary taken out as I fear it will continue to grow cysts; therefore more pain and more surgery. I hope this will be the last one (don't we all??). My doctor is definitely in favor of doing a lap, but she said if it gets too big, like 10 cm it would have to be the big cut. So sooner is definitely better. I've also read that an open abdominal is sometimes necessary if there are abnormalities discovered during the lap. Cancer is a big concern.
Since posting this, I've decided to get this done as soon as I can schedule it. I'm tired of living like this. I'm calling my dr Monday to see what is the first date available. It's really hurting now, and I dread the thought of having it get worse. Also, I've had diarrhea for 10 weeks, weight gain, and lots of lower back pain. I think there's a connection.
thank you for replying & being part of my decision process. I love this list! I'll be hanging around on these boards for a while yet. The support is phenomenal. I'll let you know what I find out on Monday.
i also had a 5.5 cm ovarian cyst...complex, fiberous, and solid. i know what you mean about the research...last year when i looked at the cyst research i just about vomited. i had l lavh/bso and thanked god mine was benign...everything was taken out because of cancer concerns. but anyway...i wanted to mention that maybe you would want to take a trip over to the hormone jungle. there are a bunch of hormone therapy options and you can even have some made just for you at very low doses. and, of couse, there's so much reading over there it could keep your mind very busy until your upcoming surgery good luck and i don't wish for anyone to feel the way i did one year ago.
My doc used Yasmin, which I believe is progesterone based. I can't take estrogen myself because of 2 previous clots. I was extremely nervous about going back on the pill, even short term, because I had been on Aygestin last summer (trying to prevent the hyst) and it really made me miserable. Yasmin also made me miserable, but the cyst resolved itself pretty quickly and I was off the meds.
I guess you really can't tell much of anything based on symptoms at all.
I was last ultrasounded at the end of Feb and had a cyst on each ovary. Doc thinks the left one is an endometrioma and the right, a functional cyst. I was being checked for endometrial cancer because my only symptom (then) was between-period brown discharge. No pain whatsoever.
Now I am having a "gas bubble" like feeling on the left side, with I think more gas than usual. But sounds like women with both cancer and just cysts have all suffered way more than I am.
Anyway I am in suspense, can't go back to Dr until my health insurance is approved. I do not have any other symptoms other than this "bubble" feeling and gas. I seem to fit in clothes better and have been working out at the gym, so I have more energy and feel really well, except for this stupid gas stuff. Who knows??
*orders endometriosis and whatever the hell else is in there to shape up NOW. "You leave ME alone and I'll leave YOU alone!!!"*