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Old 12-11-2008, 05:13 AM   #2
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Re: Ovarian cysts: Complex 2 months and now surgery....


Throughout all of this, have you still been bleeding ? If so, and your endometrial lining is thick, then perhaps the cysts have nothing to do with it and it is your uterus that may be causing problems. However, at one point you said you have bouts of severe pain with vomiting which sounds an awful lot like the symptoms of a ruptured cyst. Also, from your CT scans, you seem to be developing rather large follicular cysts. The good thing is that they are normal functional cysts (although in your heading you mention complex cysts ? are they simple or complex ? usually functional cysts are simple cysts that are filled with fluid) but the bad thing is that they may be affecting your quality of living so something will definitely have to be done. As for the pill, current studies show that the pill does no better than watchful waiting for getting rid of cysts so I do not believe that this is a viable option.

I myself have an 8 cm simple cyst on my left ovary that has been there for a year and has not changed much so my doctor is OK with keeping an eye on it with ultrasounds. Since it has been there for so long, it is unlikely to be a functional cyst but you never know. I have heard stories of people whose cysts disappear after over 6 months. I was on the pill and had just gone off of it when this was discovered so perhaps with time ... at any rate, in my case, the only pain I experience is ovulation pain for about an hour or so and it is controllable with a heating pad or with a couple of ibuprofen.

In your case, you need to do something. I am wondering though, and I am sure that you have considered this, if the cysts will come back once they have removed the ones that are there. If they are coming and going, like all functional cysts do, will you not end up with the same problem after the surgery ? This is actually what concerns me if I decide to have surgery and why I have decided to wait it out (however, as I said, I am not in constant pain). The only way to truly be rid of the cystic problem is to have the ovaries removed and unless this is absolutely necessary (as in the case of ovarian cancer, for example) I don't think it is an option. A woman needs those hormones to stay healthy and if you want to have more children .. well that's an obvious one. This is the true dilemma.

You are right that a CT is not the best tool for looking at cysts, an ultrasound is. An ultrasound can better visualize what is inside the cyst and tell whether or not the thing looks sinister or not. As a matter of fact, a radiologist's impression of what a cyst looks like on an ultrasound has a much higher predictive value of what it actually is (something like 90% accuracy) than say the CA-125 bloodtest. I have not found out if the two together increase this or not (I would imagine they should).

If your doctor thinks that the bleeding was due to a miscarriage then why doesn't she follow this through and try to treat the problem from that angle, before going in to remove the cysts ? The pain you are experiencing may be from this and have nothing to do with the cysts, which appear to be functional (if they are coming and going as you mentioned). If the bleeding has stopped and all is well on that front though, then you have to investigate further .. meaning the laparoscopy to have a look at the ovaries.

I am sorry that I could not be of more assistance. I too am struggling with the possibility of surgery and wondering if it will fix the problem for good or not. In your case, it is more urgent because of the pain and intrusion into your life, especially with children. As for the surgery, if you have to have it then do it and get it overwith. If it is a laparoscopy that you are having, I am told that the recovery time is much faster (about a week) than a laparotomy (which is about five). Just make sure that you make arrangements to have some help for a couple of weeks after surgery even if it means having your husband sign a contract saying that he will do certain things while you are recovering.

I sincerely hope that you find a permanent solution to this. All the best.