DESCRIPTIONAn ovarian cyst is a closed cavity or sac containing liquid or semisolid material which develops in an ovary. Ovarian cysts are rarely cancerous. The ovaries, Fallopian tubes, peritoneum, and colon are involved. Ovarian cysts can affect females of all ages. Appropriate health care includes: physician's monitoring of general condition and medications; surgery to drain the cyst through a laparoscope (See Glossary) or surgery to remove the ovary.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSSwelling without pain in the lower abdomen.
Stinging or burning on urination (if the cyst presses on the bladder).
Difficulty emptying the bladder completely.
Brownish vaginal discharge.
Irregular menstruation or increased hairiness (if the cyst produces excess hormones).
Precocious breast development and perhaps premature menstruation in young girls--even as young as 2-5 years.
Painful sexual intercourse.
The following may occur if the cyst twists, bleeds, or breaks: severe abdominal pain; fever; vomiting.
Some ovarian cysts produce no symptoms. Others produce any of the following:
Hormone disturbance. Ovarian cysts sometimes develop during pregnancy.
Pregnancy; use of hormones.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCECannot be prevented at present.
Your own observation of symptoms; medical history and physical exam--including a complete pelvic examination--by a doctor; X-ray of the abdomen.
Special studies that may include:
-- Ultrasonography: A non-invasive technique that translates sound waves into images displayed on a screen and photographed (See Glossary).
-- CAT or CT Scan (computerized axial tomography): Non-invasive computerized X-ray images that show sections (or "slices") of an organ or region of the body clearly and precisely (See Glossary).
-- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A non-invasive (non-X-ray) computerized test that uses radio frequency energy and a powerful magnetic field to produce images with excellent detail (See Glossary).
-- Radionuclide Scan: A nuclear medicine procedure that uses radioactive isotopes injected into a patient. The isotope tracers are absorbed in various concentrations by targeted organs, which are then photographed (See Glossary).
Rupture of the cyst or twisting of the cyst's stalk. This requires emergency surgery.
Increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cysts are curable with surgery. Without surgery, they often recur.
HOME CAREFollow your surgeon's instructions for home care following surgery.
MEDICATIONMedicine is usually not necessary for this disorder. For minor discomfort, use non-prescription drugs such as acetaminophen.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
No restrictions. If surgery is necessary, your daughter can resume activities gradually.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes, after recuperating from surgery.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your daughter has symptoms of an ovarian cyst.
Any of the following develops in your daughter after diagnosis:
-- Weight loss for no apparent reason.
-- Generally ill feeling.
-- Pain in the lower abdomen.
-- Severe abdominal pain, nausea, and fever that comes on suddenly. This may indicate rupture of a cyst.