Did you know that most women develop at least one ovarian cyst during their lifetime? While most are painless, when ovarian cysts cause discomfort, help is available under the care of Lynette W. Tsai, MD of Oahu OB/GYN in Honolulu and Kapolei, Hawaii. If you suspect you have an ovarian cyst, book a diagnostic exam at Oahu OB/GYN right away. Scheduling is as simple as a phone call or a visit to the online booking page.
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on or in one of your ovaries. You have two ovaries, which contain all of the eggs you were born with. Each month, an ovary releases an egg to await fertilization. If fertilization does not occur, your egg and the tissue lining your uterus shed during your period.
Ovarian cysts are incredibly common, and many women have no idea they have a cyst. They often resolve on their own without treatment. In some cases, however, ovarian cysts can be painful.
Most cysts are asymptomatic and present no clear signs or signals. When symptoms are present, they might include:
If you experience severe pelvic pain or pain that’s accompanied by vomiting or nausea, seek immediate medical attention.
Each month, your body creates cyst-like structures called follicles that support egg release. In some cases, those follicles continue to grow beyond your menstrual cycle, a condition known as a functional cyst.
Another type of cyst contains embryonic cells, and can also contain tissue types like skin, teeth, or hair. These are dermoid cysts. Cystadenomas are filled with a watery substance and develop in the surface of your ovary. Endometriomas are cysts that grow due to the presence of endometrial tissue outside of your uterus.
In many cases, there is no need for immediate treatment. Your Oahu OB/GYN doctor might advise a period of watchful waiting to see if the cyst ruptures or shrinks on its own.
Certain medications can help prevent more cysts from forming. Hormonal birth control is one example, although this approach won’t shrink a cyst that’s already present.
Surgery is sometimes the best way to treat a painful or large cyst. The team at Oahu OB/GYN can perform this procedure laparoscopically using the da Vinci XiⓇ surgical system, a robotic-assisted surgical platform. That approach requires just a few small incisions to allow specialized surgical instruments to reach your ovary and remove the cyst. There is less bleeding than with traditional open surgery, a lower risk of complications and infection, and a swifter recovery process.
To learn more about diagnostic and treatment tools for ovarian cysts, schedule an appointment today at Oahu OB/GYN, online or over the phone.