A lot of women can develop ovarian cysts, which are fluid-filled sacs inside the ovary or on its surface. They are usually caused by a woman’s menstrual cycle and is a common result of an ovarian follicle swelling. These types of ovarian cysts are called functional cysts and are usually harmless, not dangerous. There are also cases where the ovarian cysts are caused by abnormal cell growth and are unrelated to the menstrual cycle. These types of cysts are called pathological cysts.
There are also times when the cysts are caused by an underlying condition, such as endometriosis. Another condition that can lead to you developing ovarian cysts is polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS.
Most women can develop these ovarian cysts at least once a month, which are mostly harmless and will disappear naturally over time. In fact, a lot of women who have or have had ovarian cysts never know about them, as a lot of times these cysts have no symptoms. It is a common occurrence for ovarian cysts to develop and then gets reabsorbed by the body within two to four weeks – oftentimes, with no evidence, they ever existed.
What are the symptoms of ovarian cysts?
There are times however when the ovarian cyst can cause symptoms. Some of the possible symptoms of having an ovarian cyst include bloating, pain, swelling or pressure around the side of the lower abdominal area where the cyst is located. Women may either feel a sharp or dull pain, which can be recurring. An ovarian cyst can also rupture, which causes sudden, intense pain. Sometimes, an ovarian cyst can grow larger than normal, and may also cause some discomfort or pain. There is also a risk that an ovarian cyst can become cancerous though the chance is quite small. To ensure a safe and successful ovarian cyst removal, it is important that a woman choose a trusted and renowned women’s clinic, such as PK Women’s Specialist Clinic in Singapore.
What are the treatment options?
In about 8% of premenopausal women, it may be needed that the woman undergoes ovarian cyst treatment, which can include ovarian cyst removal. There are other treatment options, of course, depending on many factors, such as the size of the cyst and the type of pain or discomfort it causes. The specialist will decide on the proper treatment for the ovarian cyst, which includes watchful waiting, hormonal treatments or ovarian cyst removal.
- Watchful waiting – Most of the time, and the ovarian cyst will stop growing and will then be reabsorbed by the body naturally. This is usually the first treatment option that a specialist will recommend, especially for smaller cysts or cysts that pose no threat to a woman’s health. The specialist will observe the growth of the ovarian cyst over a period of time and will determine if the cyst requires a different treatment option, such as ovarian cyst removal.
- Hormonal Treatments – In some cases, the doctor may prescribe that the patient take hormonal contraceptives to keep ovarian cysts from reappearing. This is usually employed if the ovarian cysts are symptomatic but disappear on their own. The patient may want to avoid the discomfort or pain associated with the ovarian cysts and would like to prevent them from recurring.
- Ovarian Cyst Removal Surgery – In a few rare cases, ovarian cyst removal may be needed. This is usually done for times when the ovarian cyst is too large or exhibits painful symptoms that are hard to bear for the patient. If a cyst is determined to be potentially cancerous, your specialist may also recommend it to be surgically removed.
How is ovarian cyst removal surgery performed?
There are 2 types of surgery that may be employed to remove ovarian cysts – laparoscopy or laparotomy. Both of these procedures are done under general anaesthesia, and the patient should be asleep and feel no pain during the surgery.
A laparoscopy can be done to remove most ovarian cysts. In a laparoscopy, small incisions are made in the abdomen to allow the surgeon to access the ovaries. A small, lighted, tube-shaped microscope called a laparoscope is then inserted so that the surgeon can see your internal organs. The cyst will then be removed through the small incisions. After the removal, the incisions will be stitched using dissolvable sutures.
A laparotomy requires a single, larger incision compared to laparoscopy. This is done if the cyst is too large for laparoscopy or if the cyst is potentially cancerous and requires a higher degree of care. The surgeon will then remove the ovarian cyst through the incision, which is then stitched or stapled closed.
What to do after ovarian cyst removal?
For a laparoscopy, there is very little downtime and the patient may be allowed to go home on the same day or the following day. In a laparotomy, the patient may need more time to recover and will be advised to stay longer in the hospital to monitor for possible complications.
The surgeon or specialist will recommend a routine or diet to help in recovery after an ovarian cyst removal surgery.
What food to eat to help during recovery from ovarian cyst removal?
Since the patient must focus on recovery after the surgery, Dr Tan Poh Kok, a gynae at PK Women’s Specialist Clinic often recommends a diet that consists of the following foods:
- Whole Foods – To strengthen the body’s immune system and nutrition, it is recommended that recovering patients focus on eating unprocessed or whole foods. For example, instead of drinking orange juice from the supermarket, munch on a fresh orange fruit instead.
- Fibre-rich food – After surgery, it is quite common to get constipation which gets particularly painful in these cases. To prevent this, a fibre-rich diet is recommended that includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Lean protein – to aid in healing and recovery, include lean protein into your diet. This can be sourced from the lean meat of chicken, pork, seafood and fish. Lean protein can also be consumed from tofu, nuts, and beans.
PK Women’s Specialist Clinic
2,Tai Thong Crescent, #01-12,
The Venue Shoppes., Singapore 347836
+65 6636 9909