Medical

What is an Ovarian Dermoid Cyst?

Have you been diagnosed with having a dermoid cyst in your ovary and is your doctor asking you to go through a surgery to remove it? This is what you need to know about ovarian dermoid cysts.

Ovarian dermoid cyst also known as ovarian teratomas is usually a benign growth in the ovary which can be already present when you were born or it can develop during a girl’s reproductive years. The primary age of detection is in the childbearing years when presence of a dermoid cyst can cause intense pain during a girl’s menstrual period.

Dermoid cyst can contain various tissues such as hair, fluid, skin glands, bones and even teeth! They range from 1cm upto 15cm in diameter. Dermoid cysts can be present in both the ovaries. These cysts can cause the ovary to twist and limit its blood supply. The bigger the dermoid cyst, the greater is the risk of rupture. In this case, immediate surgery is required.

Dermoid cysts grow slowly over a period of time and are not tender unless it is ruptured.  They can twist, become infected and even rupture. Although 98% of the cysts are benign, 2% becomes cancerous (malignant). Dermoid cysts have to be removed either with conventional surgery which is known as laparotomy (open surgery) or laparoscopy (surgery that involves usually 3 small incisions to enter the abdomen or pelvis with the use of a scope).

Some women experience torsion (twisting) of the cyst during the initial stages of pregnancy as the mother’s uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby. Although the torsion can be difficult to diagnose during pregnancy, the pain that it causes can be severe. In this case, it is recommended by doctors to remove the cyst as soon as possible through surgery to prevent harm to the unborn baby.

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