Treatment of Ovarian Cysts

Most of the ovarian cysts (more than 95%) are benign and only a few of the ovarian cysts are malignant. Benign ovarian cysts in many cases do not produce any symptoms and discovered in routine examination or while performing ultrasonography for identifying some other medical condition. Only some ovarian cysts produce symptoms, which are also non specific like pain in pelvic region, bleeding etc.

The diagnosis of ovarian cyst is generally done either by CT (computerized tomography) scan or ultrasound. Laboratory investigations of ovarian cysts are generally non specific.

As more than 95% of the ovarian cysts are benign (not cancer), the treatment of ovarian cysts generally depends on the size of the cyst and the symptoms it produce (if any). If the ovarian cyst is small and do not produce any symptoms or produce only mild symptoms than the treatment is wait and watch approach with check up at regular interval of every 6 months. The pain (the commonest symptom) of ovarian cyst is treated/managed by common pain relievers like NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen, diclofenac, piroxicam etc. Opioid pain relievers are rarely required and have to be used cautiously as they have addiction liability. Pain relievers should be taken at the first sign of pain to get the best effect. Use of hot water bottle or heating pad in the pelvic area can give relief to pain. The treatment of ovarian cyst is essentially conservative if it occurs in women who has not completed their family and in their childbearing age. In post menopausal women and women with completed family, more radical approach like total hysterectomy along with cyst and ovaries can be done, especially if there is history of ovarian cancer in family and if there is ruptured ovarian cyst. Conservative surgeries that preserve the ovaries and only remove the cyst is generally done for women with small, benign cyst and if the woman is in childbearing age and desirous to have children in future.

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