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Cysts - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is the treatment?

The treatment depends on the patient’s age, nature, type of the cyst and the various symptoms.

The doctor may also advise the patient to wait and watch and not to undergo any treatment as sometimes, the cyst can resolve on its own within a few weeks to months’ time. Typically, watchful waiting is the option when the symptoms aren’t severe and the cyst is small and filled with fluid. Having said that, following up with ultrasound tests of the pelvis is required to detect any change in the size of the cyst.

Secondly, birth control pills reduce the possibility of the formation of new cysts in the subsequent menstrual cycles. The chances of suffering from ovarian cancer are also reduced with prolonged intake of oral contraceptives.

Eventually, surgery becomes the last line of defense if the cyst doesn’t appear to be a functional one, is growing in size with time and has persisted over 2-3 months. Otherwise, cysts that cause pain may need to be surgically operated on and removed.

Ovarian cystectomy is a procedure wherein the cyst is surgically removed but not the ovaries. On the other hand, oophorectomy is a technique wherein the cyst along with the affected ovary is removed but the other one is kept as it is.

How is the treatment done?

Laparotomy and laparoscopy are the two surgical techniques to remove ovarian cysts.

Laparoscopy is employed to treat most of the cysts. It is a keyhole surgical technique wherein tiny incisions are made on the stomach and gas is inserted to bloat up the pelvis that allows a doctor access the ovaries. A laparoscope (a thin tube with a camera and light fitted on one end) is inserted into the abdomen in order to allow the surgeon to see the internal organs clearly. The cyst is then removed through the tiny incisions. Laparoscopic removal requires a shorter downtime and causes considerably less pain.

A Laparotomy is preferred in case of a cancerous cyst or a cyst that is too big in size for a laparoscopy to be performed. In this case, a single but a comparatively larger incision is made to allow access to the surgeon to the cyst. The cyst along with the ovary may have to be taken out and then sent to the laboratory to check for malignancy.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Surgery is carried out in the following scenarios:

  • Both the ovaries have been affected by cysts
  • The cyst exceeds 3 inches in size
  • The cysts (cyst) do not reduce in size or go away with time
  • The cyst is not a functional one
  • Development of a cyst despite the fact that the patient hasn’t started her menstrual cycle
  • If the cyst forms even post-menopause
  • The cyst grows in spite of the patient taking contraceptives
  • Possibility of ovarian cancer

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

There is no non-eligibility criterion as such. However, the first line of treatment would be to just wait and watch as maximum cysts often tend to go away on their own. Secondly would be to administer oral contraceptives that would take care of the problem. Only if the above-mentioned treatments don’t work, should one opt for a surgical removal of the growths.

Are there any side effects?

The possible elements of risk include:

  • the ovarian cysts might develop again even if a cystectomy has been carried out
  • The pain may not reduce completely
  • Chances of scar tissue at the site of the surgery; on the fallopian tubes, pelvis or the ovaries
  • Infections
  • Damage caused to the bladder or the bowel at the time of surgery

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The post-treatment guidelines are:

  • One will have to take things easy for about 15 days
  • Some amount of pain near the stomach area is normal
  • In case of heavy and persistent bleeding, swelling or severe pain in the abdominal area, fever and thick vaginal discharge, one should contact his/her general physician without delay
  • Regular pelvic tests are a necessity in order to detect any further growth in the ovaries
  • In addition to these, any aberration in the menstrual cycle should be reported to the doctor immediately

How long does it take to recover?

If a laparoscopy has been performed, then the patient can resume their daily activities within 24 hours. However, any strenuous activity including exercising should be struck off the itinerary for about a week or possibly more (up to 10 days). On the other hand, post laparotomy, a 4-day hospital stay becomes necessary. Normal activities can resume only after a month or 6 weeks, as advised by the doctor.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The average price for removal of ovarian cyst through a surgery is within the range of Rs.3,50,000-Rs. 4,30,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

A cystectomy surgery helps remove the cyst without causing any harm to the ovary, leaving it unaffected, and thus preserving the patient’s fertility. Having said that, there always remains a possibility of a new growth on the other ovary post-cystectomy. An oophorectomy is the only way to ensure that such further growths are absolutely prevented; however, it would compromise on the patient’s fertility as both the ovaries need to be surgically removed during such a surgery.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Having discussed earlier, the alternatives to surgically removing s cyst are ‘waitful and careful watching’ as to what happens to the cyst or the intake of oral contraceptives.

Safety: High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: Medium Recovery Time: Medium Price Range: Rs. 3,50,000 - Rs. 4,30,000

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