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Removing an Ovarian Cyst

Q: I was just diagnosed with an ovarian cyst on my left ovary. I had a hysterectomy 8 months ago, but kept my ovaries. I'm only 31 years old. I have had pain for the last 8 months on my left side.

The cyst measures at 5.2cm. Is that a normal size? I want it removed! What size do cysts typically have to be before the doctor will remove them? I also want the doctor to take my ovary out since I have had nothing but problems. Is that a wise decision?

Dr. Donnica: I am sorry to hear of your troubles. You didn't say why you had a hysterectomy, which is probably very relevant. I am concerned that your left sided pain has been there since the time of your surgery. Has your doctor offered an explanation? Was the ovarian cyst present at the time of your surgery?

In general, ovarian cysts are removed if there is any suspicion that they are not completely benign, if they are over 6 cm, or if they are causing symptoms. If your doctor suspects that the cyst is responsible for your pain, it should be removed. This can be done laparoscopically through a "band-aid" incision and you should be able to go home from the hospital the same day and be back to all your usual activities within 2 to 3 days. If the cyst is easily removed, there is no reason to remove the ovary. Of course, this is an issue you should discuss with your doctor as well.

Best regards,
Donnica Moore MD
President, DrDonnica.com

Created: 6/19/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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