A twisted ovarian cyst or ovarian cyst with torsion is a very serious complication of an ovarian cyst. An ovarian cyst is normally harmless. Normally, it doesn’t grow any bigger than 6 centimeters and most of the time ovarian cysts disappear on their own. Most ovarian cysts don’t produce any symptoms. Those that do have symptoms that are easily treated with pain medication and birth control pills.
An ovarian cyst with torsion happens when the cyst causes the ovary to twist around. When an ovary is twisted around and not in its normal position, the blood vessels that supply blood to the ovaries can become constricted or blocked completely.
Symptoms of Twisted Ovarian Cyst
A twisted ovarian cyst can produce symptoms like:
- sharp abdominal pain,
- irregular menstrual periods,
- bloating, nausea,
- fever, and
These symptoms, most especially pain, get worse the longer the cyst remain untreated.
Complications of Twisted Ovarian Cysts
If the cyst is left untreated, several complications can happen.
- A twisted cyst can rupture and permanently damage the ovary.
- A twisted ovarian cyst can also leak and cause blood clots or internal bleeding.
- The torsion of the ovaries can also block the blood and oxygen supply to the ovaries. This can kill the ovaries and fallopian tubes causing permanent infertility and hormonal problems.
Since most ovarian cysts don’t produce symptoms, most twisted cysts are diagnosed only when the symptoms appear. By then, significant damage has occurred and the twisted ovarian cyst has to be treated immediately. However, the symptoms of a twisted ovarian cyst are not enough to confirm its diagnosis. The symptoms of a twisted cyst are similar to other conditions like ruptured ovarian cysts, pregnancy, and other reproductive diseases. The only way to confirm the diagnosis of a twisted ovarian cyst and to determine its severity is through ultrasound imaging.
Treatment of Twisted Ovarian Cysts
The only way to treat a twisted ovarian cyst is through surgery. When caught early, a twisted cyst can be treated through laparoscopy or minimally invasive surgery. A laparoscopy involves making a small incision on the abdomen. A small camera and small surgical tools are inserted into the incision until it reaches the ovary. The ovary is twisted back to its proper position and the cyst is removed.
If the cyst is too large, or the ovary has been damaged, open surgery is needed. During open surgery, the cyst is removed and the ovary is twisted back into place. In cases where the ovary has been damaged due to the lack of blood and oxygen supply, the cyst, ovary and the fallopian tube will have to be removed. This is done to prevent sepsis which can be fatal.
If only one ovary is removed, the patient still has a chance to conceive and have a normal pregnancy and childbirth. If both ovaries are affected, both will have to be removed and this can cause permanent infertility. Having both ovaries removed can also cause hormonal problems that can be treated with hormone replacement.
The only way to prevent a twisted ovarian cyst is through early detection. Have regular physical check-ups and be aware of the symptoms of ovarian cysts. If you’re diagnosed with ovarian cysts, seek out treatment as early as possible and don’t wait for symptoms or complications to occur. An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.
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