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Ovarian cysts Ovarian cysts

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Unread 02-27-2011, 12:00 AM
Ovarian cysts

I have a couple of ovarian cysts that are about 8-9cm. My Dr. and I have watched them for a couple of months and they did go down a bit in size but have now grown again.
The Dr. has suggested a total Hysterectomy as I am 51 and going through Menopause.

I am due for surgery on Tuesday March 1st. Problem is I am terrified of going through surgical menopause because of the hormonal side effects! Do you automatically get hot flashes and night sweats? What about emotional turmoil?

I am not at a high risk, (that I know of) for cancer so I am torn about having both of my ovaries taken and my uterus for preventative reasons? Some women I have spoken to say having a hysterectomy was the best thing they ever did others say it was a nightmare!

I am scared and confused!
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Unread 02-27-2011, 07:26 AM
Re: Ovarian cysts

and to HysterSisters!

I'm sorry that you find yourself facing surgery. It's scary to try to figure out what is best without knowing for sure what we're dealing with, isn't it?

Ideally you should get a second opinion so that you can be as certain as possible that a hysterectomy and oophorectomy is best for your circumstances. If your doctor suspects cancer, it would be good to at least consult with an gynecologist/oncologist.

You're right that some women feel that the surgery was the best thing ever and that others regret ever signing the consent form. Unfortunately, there's no way to know in advance which group you will be a part of, which is why we recommend that women be as informed as possible and exhaust viable alternatives to surgery before consenting.

Surgical menopause can be a nightmare because of how quickly the hormones produced by the ovaries deplete after the ovaries are removed. It can happen almost immediately but some women feel okay for weeks and even longer before feeling the effects. Of course in natural menopause the change is more gradual but it's important to note that even after menopause, the ovaries produce beneficial hormones. Is your doctor going to prescribe hormone therapy for you if you do go ahead with surgery?

Call your doctor as soon as you can to discuss your concerns and be sure you're comfortable with the answers. If it's not a medical emergency to have surgery, perhaps it would be worth postponing until you can get a second opinion.

Please let us know what you decide. We're here to support you!

Unread 02-27-2011, 10:50 AM
Re: Ovarian cysts

Thank you sooo much for your reply! More and more I am thinking that I just want the cysts removed and one ovary only IF REALLY NECESSARY! My sister had uterine cancer but they caught it really fast and she was told that it was due to the HPV virus.

None of the women in my family (to date) have had any other cancers. My mother is 70 and she still has her ovaries. This would probably be an easier decision to make if cancer was in my family. Of course if the Dr. does the biopsy she is talking about and it is cancer then it should all come out. I think..... ???? God this is a hard decision to make!!!!
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Unread 02-27-2011, 11:13 AM
Re: Ovarian cysts

It really is a tough decision and I wish there were easy answers! This site does have a forum called Cancer Concerns where you may want to post a new thread to ask what members' thoughts are about removing everything in the event the cysts prove to be cancerous, which of course we hope won't be the case.

Unread 02-27-2011, 06:29 PM
Re: Ovarian cysts

I'm 43 and had my TAH BSO surgery about six weeks ago. I'd been dealing with uterine fibroids for years and putting off the surgery, when I got a call from my doctor after an ultrasound with news of a complex ovarian cyst that had a potentially cancerous appearance.

All of a sudden my "opinional" surgery became "necessary", and like you I worried about whether or not to save the other ovary and avoid all the menopause symptoms or just take everything out and never again worry about getting one of those phone calls.

I did get a second opinion and found that to be really helpful. The second doctor presented some options I hadn't thought about, and although both doctors were on the same page, it was good to have each of their perspectives and ideas presented.

One of the things I was told is that it's sometimes really hard to know which ovary has the cyst since they are located within inches of each other in the body and can also twist around and lay one above the other rather than side by side -- making it difficult for an ultrasound technician to make a definitive diagnosis.

My second opinion doctor advised me not to tie my surgeon's hands during surgery, and instead make sure that I let the surgeon know that I wanted to try to save the good ovary, but would allow them to make the final decision based on what they find during surgery.

As it turns out, that was the best decision. In addition to the multiple uterine fibroids and the one ovarian cyst that I'd known about, during surgery they found additional complex ovarian cysts (on both ovaries), and endometriosis pretty much everywhere. So it turned out that the TAH BSO was a good decision for me.

Another thing to discuss with your doctor is hormone replacement theraphy (HRT). I decided to start HRT while still in the hospital, thinking that would be best, but unfortunately experienced some side effects which forced me to stop taking the medicine. Now I'm six weeks post-op, not taking anything, and feeling pretty darn good. I have mild hot flashes, but they're managable, and unless my symptoms get worse, I may not even need HRT.

There are many different types of HRT out there as well as certain vitamin therapies that can help as well. This forum has a lot of information on HRT and the alternatives, if you're interested.

Truthfully, all the anxiety I built up around my surgery was much worse than the surgery itself. Best advice -- keep talking to everyone and get as much information as you can. It does help.

Good luck!
Unread 03-04-2011, 10:34 AM
Smile - Ovarian cysts Re: Ovarian cysts

Thank you for the info. I kept one ovary.
Unread 03-04-2011, 10:52 AM
Re: Ovarian cysts

I hope your surgery went well -- relax now and enjoy your rest while you recover!

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