How are cysts treated?

Watchful waiting. The patient waits and gets re-examined in one to three months to see if the cyst has changed in size. This is a common treatment option for women who are in their childbearing years, have no symptoms, and have a fluid-filled cyst.

Surgery. If the cyst doesn’t go away after several menstrual periods, has gotten larger, looks unusual on the ultrasound, causes pain, or you’re postmenopausal, the doctor may want to remove it. There are two main surgical procedures:

  • Laparoscopy—if the cyst is small and looks benign on the ultrasound, your doctor may perform a laparoscopy. This procedure is done under general anesthesia. A very small incision is made above or below the navel, and a small instrument that acts like a telescope is inserted into the abdomen. If the cyst is small and looks benign, it can be removed.
  • Laparotomy—if the cyst is large and looks suspicious, the doctor may perform a procedure called a laparotomy. This procedure involves making a bigger incision in the stomach to remove the cyst. While you are under general anesthesia, the doctor is able to have the cyst tested to find out if the tissue is cancerous. If it is cancerous, the doctor may need to remove the ovary and other tissues that may be affected, like the uterus or lymph nodes.

Birth control pills. If you frequently develop cysts, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills to prevent you from ovulating. This will lower the chances of forming new cysts.



Ovarian Cysts Questions

Information is provided by:  The National Women's Health Information Center which is Sponsored by the Office on Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services