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Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

26 Apr 2021 10:04

Hi, I'm new to the site. I'm 53, and have suffered with Hashimoto's Thyroid Disease--diagnosed only six years ago. I've also had major back surgery... spinal fusion (through the stomach). Despite all this, I try to keep active and cycle regularly. I've recently been told I had a large 5.5cm cyst on my left ovary which look complex. I was due to have surgery but upon arrival, the surgeon said they couldn't perform a laparoscopy due to my spinal fusion scar on my stomach--as my bowel or internal organs my stick to internal scar tissue. So, I've been told I need a major surgery and there may be more risk. I'm really worried about it all and am hoping for some advice and support from others here. 

I read a 2019 study that was done by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Imperial Biomedical Research Centre, saying that a watch and wait approach may be a better option for those with cysts. I'm just wondering what others think, and if anyone has had a similar issue to me.

Thank you!

Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

28 Apr 2021 10:59 in response to KymberlyS

Hello Kymberly and welcome to the community.

You can find out more about the watch and wait approach just here but if you'd like to discuss your treatment options with our team of nurses they're available on 0808 800 4040, Monday - Friday between 9a.m - 5p.m.

Hopefully some of our members who have been in a similar situation will offer their thoughts and advice to you soon but do be sure to talk through all your concerns about the surgery with your GP/medical team as well.

Kind regards,

Steph, Cancer Chat Moderator

Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

28 Apr 2021 11:11 in response to Moderator Steph

Thanks Steph. I've checked the NHS site but they just talk about the ultrasound. I've seen new studies where they are using an MRI tool which can give a 90% accurate result in diagnosing if a cyst. I was just wondering if anyone else has heard about this approach, been involved, or if anyone has had the same complication as me (prior sugery causing issues).


Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

28 Apr 2021 12:33 in response to KymberlyS


I'm a bit different as had cervical cancer and had a abdominal hysterectomy,  but they left my ovaries this was June.

In September I had a simple cyst on my ovary about 7cm I was told it was fine but wouldn't go away on its own due to the size.

In December I was told it was now complex and I needed it gone.  It had grown to 9cm. I had to have the scar reopened on my abdomen. At the time I put on 4kg in weight and it was a struggle.

The surgery itself was difficult due to the size of the cyst and it split while I was being operated on. The recovery was a breeze  compared with the hysterectomy. I did have pain but it was well managed. I was up walking around the next day. Showering myself the day after.  The operation is nothing to fear it was the easiest part.  Living with the cyst was a lot worse.

Good luck whatever you choose. 


Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

28 Apr 2021 12:42 in response to Giggsy

Thanks so much for responding to me post! Wow, that must have been a very stressful time. So you had a large scar on your stomach and they reopened it? So it was full surgery and not a Laparoscopy? Really great to hear you recovered from that so quickly!

The surgeon told me that the surgery will be high risk because of scar tissue from my prior surgery attaching to the bowels or organs. So, I can't have a Laparoscopy. And at this point, I don't know what alternatives they will present. I have a meeting with the surgeon in two weeks. If your case is similar to mine, that gives me more hope! Thank you!

Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

28 Apr 2021 13:06 in response to KymberlyS

Yes I have a massive scar across my stomach from left to right which they reopened. I was told I couldn't have it done lapasopic either due to my previous surgery and a chance it could be cancerous. I was dreading the surgery and due to the complications I was in there for 5h, not that I noticed.

I had both ovaries removed, my stomach is still numb in places but the scar has healed well. 

I tried the watch and wait which didn't work for me but everyone is different .

Any queries I'm happy to help 


Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

28 Apr 2021 13:17 in response to Giggsy

Wow... I really feel for you! I'm pretty scared right now. I started with watch and wait but then they said there were changes within the cyst which were concerning. I've another meeting with the surgeon in two weeks, and they will tell me what the plan is I guess. But... I'm very curious about this new MRI tool. Did you hear anything about that before your surgery? Just wondering if you heard about it and ruled it out, or was told it wasn't a good option?



Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

28 Apr 2021 13:32 in response to KymberlyS

I'm currently having chemo, I'm in the hospital now its pretty boring though. I can only type with 1 hand too as the other one has the  cannula in.

Thats what happened to me. It turned worrying in the watch and wait period.

I had a ultra sound, trans vaginal scan and CT scan.  Nothing was mentioned about the MRI. I was told in the first scan it wasn't good and she called my consultant that night.

Mine was different as it was a reoccurrence of cervical cancer not ovarian cancer. First treatment options are much more doable.


Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

28 Apr 2021 13:40 in response to Giggsy

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. You sound like such a strong person. 

I had a screening for cervical cancer. The results weren inconclusive so they did the loop proceedure. I still don't know for sure. Really don't know what to expect next.


Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

28 Apr 2021 13:52 in response to KymberlyS

You'll know more when they do a further scan, mri, ct or pet.

Its very rare for cervical cancer to spread to the ovary especially if you don't have any other symptoms.

It may be nothing to worry about just a cyst. It's pointless trying to worry about all eventualities now. Try not to stress yourself out until anything is confirmed. I know its easier said than done



Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

28 Apr 2021 14:46 in response to Giggsy

Thank you so much. It's hard not to worry but if I can be half as strong as you, I'll be ok. I hope you recover quickly. And it's really good to know that you recovered from the surgery so fast! Big hugs... it's just so nice of you to chat to me about all this... especially when you're going through so much yourself.


Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

28 Apr 2021 21:32 in response to KymberlyS

Its no bother it takes my mind off my problems. I'm usually back in work quickly too to take my mind of it.

Did you have a full blood test? They should check your CA125 levels too. Its not totally accurate and not everyone uses it but every little helps. They test mine every 3 weeks.


Complex ovarian cyst and surgery

29 Apr 2021 07:36 in response to Giggsy

I guess that makes sense. I'm trying to keep busy with work too. The waiting is difficult. I'm trying to get a referral to see the Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist/gynaecological oncology surgeon at the hospital who ran the study using the MRI tool. I'm not sure I'll be able to get everything organised quickly enough, but I figure I should try. They checked my CA125 levels and they are within the normal range. But that was almost six months ago now and no one has checked since. Perhaps they will take another blood sample when I see the surgeon in two weeks. A couple of days ago, I had another pap smear, the first on since I had the loop proceedure last year. Just hoping those come back normal too. 

Hope you're feeling ok today. 


Edited on Thu, 29/04/2021 - 08:37 by Moderator Ben, Hospital name removed in line with forum terms and conditions