Originally Posted by Zialov
She told me that ultrasounds are not always conclusive but gave me the choice of having both ovaries removed or waiting 3 months to see how things looked. Since recent studies indicate that the ovaries are health protective even after menopause, I'm having a hard time making a decision. I could use some help.
I'm responding based on my experience of hysterectomy and ovary removal and everything I've learned since my surgery. For one, the removal of my organs at age 49 turned my life upside down. I had a suspicious looking cyst. The frozen section done while I was under anesthesia showed it to be a BENIGN mucinous cystadenoma. But my gynecologist removed all my organs anyway! I aged in appearance 10-15 years within about 5 months post-op. I hate to think how much I've aged on the inside.
You're absolutely right that many studies show the ovaries to be health protective long after menopause. They show them to produce hormones into a woman's 80's
. I know women in their 70's who had their uterus and/or ovaries removed whose quality of life and health quickly spiraled downward. Our female organs (ovaries, uterus, tubes) work together and have non-reproductive functions that are essential our entire life.
With the overuse of female organ removal, it can be difficult to find a gynecologist or oncologist who uses conservative treatments. It seems to me that since your oncologist gave you the option of monitoring, she must think the cyst isn't cancerous. And most aren't even when they look suspicious.
It seems odd though that:
1) She didn't mention removal of the just the cyst (cystectomy) leaving your ovary (or enough of it) to keep hormone production. This can be a more "delicate" surgery so maybe she doesn't have the skills or it's less profitable. You may want to check with your insurance to see what the reimbursement rates are for the two procedures (cystectomy and oophorectomy) if they'll even tell you. That can be eye-opening. Another possibility is that insurance won't pay for a cystectomy but only pay to have the ovary removed. I know a woman experienced this situation and had to file an appeal with her insurance to have this covered by a non-network doctor. She couldn't find a network doctor to remove just the cyst. She lost the appeal but then went to the state's insurance board and they ruled in her favor and made her insurance company pay 100% for the cystectomy plus a fine. I'm telling you this to understand some of the roadblocks you may encounter if the cyst ends up needing to be removed
Also, the frozen section done while under anesthesia should dictate if more than the cyst needs to be removed. Obviously, if it's benign, there shouldn't be any need to remove more tissue (the ovary). This can all be spelled out on the consent form (may require changes by you) with the doctor signing off. If a doctor balks at this, you know something's amiss.
2) Why would the ovary with the simple cyst need to be removed? I assume you're past menopause so maybe that's why? But I thought simple cysts were never a problem. And if the cyst needs to go, why not a cystectomy (same as the other cyst if it's benign)?
It also seems common to remove the uterus when ovaries are removed (and vice versa) but, again, why remove organs needlessly?
Hope this helps!