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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    I have painful dermoid cysts and surgery is 8 weeks away, what to do?

    They are 7cm and 6cm and giving me such bad pain that I am bed ridden most afternoons and so bloated that I look 6 months pregnant.
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    Dr Joseph Jabbour

    Gynaecologist, Gynaecologist - Infertility (IVF) Specialist, Obstetrician

    Dr Joseph Jabbour is a specialist Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist with Monash IVF situated in Sunnybank (Brisbane Southside). Dr Jabbour has had the … View Profile

    Hi there, 

    I am sorry to hear you are suffering so terribly with pain and bloating.

    Dermoid cysts are invariably benign cysts and are very common in women in their 20s and 30s. Histologic examination is required to confirm the diagnosis of the cyst which would mean surgical excision and examination by a pathologist under the microsocpe. You are booked for the surgery and this is definitely the proper management.

    The size of a dermoid cyst > 5cm predisposes the ovary to a condition known as ovarian torsion (the ovary twists on itself). This can cause severe pain as the blood supply to the ovary can be compromised. This requires urgent attention. You may be having intermittent ovarian torsion if the pain comes and goes...

    There is a very small chance that the dermoid cyst could transform to a malignant cancer. There is always the concern this is an ovarian cancer (Age > 45 is a risk factor as well as size > 10 cm)

    If you have risk factors such as age > 45, are bed ridden with pain and are suffering from sudden onset of bloating, I would recommend you contact your gynaecologist urgently or see you GP to obtain a repeat Ultrasound. If the pain is severe, you should present to your nearest Emergency Department for a thorough examination and a repeat ultrasound scan. You may need to have this surgery sooner than 8 weeks from now, especially if you are suffering so much.

    Help is always available and you should seek it.

    Good luck.

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