This kind of cyst forms in or on an ovary. Some types of ovarian cysts are related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. But an ovarian dermoid cyst has nothing to do with the ovary’s function. Like other kinds of dermoid cysts, an ovarian dermoid cyst first develops before birth. A woman may have a dermoid cyst on an ovary for many years until it’s discovered during a pelvic exam.
Do dermoid cysts cause symptoms?
Many dermoid cysts have no obvious symptoms. In some of these cases, symptoms develop only after the cyst has become infected or has grown significantly. When symptoms are present, they may include the following:
Ovarian dermoid cyst
If the cyst has grown large enough, you may feel some pain in your pelvic area near the side with the cyst. This pain may be more pronounced around the time of your menstrual cycle.
What causes dermoid cysts?
Doctors can see dermoid cysts even in developing babies not yet born. However, it’s not clear why some developing embryos have dermoid cysts. Here are the causes for the common types of dermoid cysts: Ovarian dermoid cyst causes.
An ovarian dermoid cyst or a dermoid cyst that grows on another organ also forms during embryonic development. It includes skin cells and other tissues and glands that should be in the layers of a baby’s skin, not around an internal organ.
How are dermoid cysts diagnosed?
A pelvic exam may reveal the presence of an ovarian dermoid cyst. Another imaging test your doctor may use to identify this type of cyst is called a pelvic ultrasound. A pelvic ultrasound uses sound waves to create images. The test uses a wandlike device, called a transducer, that’s rubbed across the lower abdomen to create images on a nearby screen.
Your doctor may also use a transvaginal ultrasound. During this test, your doctor will insert a wand into the vagina. Like with the pelvic ultrasound, images will be created using sound waves emitted from the wand.
How are dermoid cysts treated?
Regardless of its location, the only treatment option for a dermoid cyst is surgical removal. There are several key factors to consider before surgery, especially if the cyst is treated in a child. These include:
If surgery is decided, here’s what to expect before, during, and after the procedure:
Follow the directions your doctor gives you before surgery. They’ll let you know when you need to stop eating or taking medications before surgery. Since general anesthesia is used for this procedure, you’ll also need to make transportation arrangements to go home.
Ovarian dermoid surgery is more complicated. In some cases, it can be done without removing the ovary. This is called an ovarian cystectomy. If the cyst is too large or there’s been too much damage to the ovary, the ovary and cyst may have to be removed together.
You Should know
Because most dermoid cysts are present at birth, you’re unlikely to develop one later in life. Dermoid cysts are usually harmless, but you should discuss the pros and cons of surgical removal with your doctor.
In most cases, cyst removal surgery can be done safely with few complications or long-term problems. Removing the cyst also removes the risk of it rupturing and spreading an infection that can become a more serious medical problem.