Dermoid Cyst Removal - what to expect?

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Hello smile I've had a dermoid cyst in my right ovary for years. They caught it when I was really young and have been monitoring it every 6-12 months. I went for another scan which showed it has grown to 3cm (which seems small vs. other people in this discussion) but my gyno said I had the choice to go for the laparoscopy (key hole) surgery to remove it if I would like. She explained the risks of rupturing, torsion etc. and her recomendation was to remove it! I wanted to ask if anyone has had the operation electively and where the incisions were made? Did you experience deformation of the belly button, how did your scars heal and how long did they take? I know it sounds super vain but I'm really young (<25) and I don't want scars all over my stomach because I wear a lot of stomach showing things! So just wanted to understand this. Also, has anyone had the operation where the doctor has saved the ovary? I don't have children but of course want them eventually and would like to keep the ovary. I've seen below that healing time varies so not too concerned about that. Any help or sharing of experiences would be amazing. I reently moved to a new country and am living away from my family for the first time so am really frightened!

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  • Posted


    I was 21 when I first had a laparoscopy and I can barely see the scars now, it really doesn't make a massive difference to your belly button. When I first saw the scars I was upset and yes it's vain but I completely understand where your coming from. Unfortunately the doctors wouldn't do as I asked and only drained the cyst so 4 weeks ago I had to have another laparoscopy and now have more scars so I'm definitely feeling vain about being upset and how the look however the fact I'm lucky to still have my ovary completely out weighs that feeling.

    Recovery time, they usually give you two weeks off work, I've been back at work two weeks now and feeling back to normal. I've also had this 2nd operation away from family so please don't worry, the doctor would recommend for no reason!


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    • Posted

      Aww thank you, I'm not as brave as some of the other women on here who have gone through a lot worse.

      The scars are tiny really, maybe a cm in length if that. My first op was 8 years ago (the cyst came back after the first op and no one would monitor it, hence why I feel lucky I've still got my ovary intact!) and I can barely see them now, unless I look for them. I can't remember how long they took to clear up as it was so long ago but hoping myself not too Longford the new ones.

      However they aren't anything to be embarrassed about and I wear a lot of stomach showing tops no one has ever asked me about them and if they do it's none of their business ??

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply it really helps smile Hope you get better soon! My cyst is a dermoid so the gyno said it won't come back once removed! So I am counting myself lucky!

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  • Posted

    Hello puddingcup,

    You're tough and brave to face this when so far from family.  That said, you're better to do this now than wait for it to grow.

    I haven't had my surgery yet - due in four weeks - but my dermoid cysts we only discovered recently and one is large enough to need full open surgery, a laparotomy.  The recovery from this takes much longer than laparoscopy and I will probably lose the ovary. I've told them to remove the smaller cyst on the left at the same time to avoid later complications.  That one's the same size as yours but he's confident the ovary will be ok.

    Although it seems like a big deal, time goes quickly and I bet you will be feeling trim and beach-ready again before you know it.  Definitely best to have it dealt with at this stage and be free of it.

    Periods might be irregular for a while but talk to your consultant about how important it is for you keep that ovary, and you have every chance that your fertility will be fine.

    Best of luck

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  • Posted

    Hi! I'm so sorry about this, I know how difficult being told you need surgery is.

    I'm 14 years old, and I was diagnosed with a 5cm dermoid cyst last August. Last month, I finally got the laparoscopy. Let me tell you, for me, it was no biggy! smile

    Basically the incisions are made right below the belly button, two where your two ovaries are, and one right above your pubic hair. It's a month later and the scars are still a little red, but they've healed so nicely!

    First and foremost, let me just say, please DO NOT be worried about the anesthesia. It's just like your really tired and you fall asleep. It just feels like you went to sleep for five minutes and woke up.

    The worst part for me was the gas pain. They fill you up with carbon dioxide (I might be wrong) and it gets trapped in your chest and shoulders. This is a little gross, but try to pass gas and burp a little. It goes by so much faster. Walking helps a ton too.

    I think since your cyst is 3cm, they will be able to save the ovary. They told me they could save mine, but the ovary was completely DEMOLISHED when they went inside there, and had to remove it. I think you'll be fine.

    Also, just a quick tip, if you don't need the pain pills, don't take them! I didn't have a single pill, and because of that I thinks that's why I wasn't constipated, nauseous, etc. Plus, my recovery was four days, and I was out of the house!

    If you want to see a full walk through of the surgery, check out my other posts, I think they will help you. Best of luck to you!


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  • Posted


    I was so proud I never needed stitches except child birth and who sees those. ;-)

    KellinHanas totally addresses the whole picture. She is such a brave and mature woman already at 14! She should be proud of how she handled her situation and how she is helping so many other women in this group.

    Have you ever had stitches elsewhere? After I had a work injury I needed stitches on my hand. Took forever to heal but the Dr. took care with sutures and no one can see the scar but me. Just a faint line. It is still sensitive when I whack it but otherwise no problem. It did have a rigid bump after stitches were removed. Once it had completely healed but still a pink fresh scar rubbed Vitamin E on it daily. Eventually the bump disappeared and the scar faded well. (It can irritate your skin if there is still any raw areas so be patient.)

    The reason I tell you this is much to surprise my abdominal scar healed fast but exactly the same. :-) I had a full lower abdominal incision and treated it the same as my finger. It healed way more quickly. My Dr. used staples to close external incision. Once removed, a couple of small areas were a little stubborn but healed perfectly! Again, th rigid bump in areas but used the Vit E again. Perfect! Helped with itching too. A couple of Drs. have completely missed the scar. When friends have asked to see it they are amazed. Just a faint ghost of a line.

    You should keep out of the sun totally while healing and protect with sunscreen thereafter. Scars can darken from sun exposure but they don't tan. But given time and your individual healing speed they will disappear and eventually you'll forget about them.

    Don't worry. We are programmed to be flawless but my scar is now my badge of survival and does not bother me. (Unless I bump it, it's sensitive sometimes.)

    You are lucky to have the cyst out now before you have complications. So many women have lost their entire ovary by the wait and see philosophy.

    So be brave. You're stronger than you know. Your down time will be short and you'll be back at it soon. You'll wonder why you worried so.

    Best wishes to a speedy recovery!

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    • Posted

      Hey hey! Thank you for your response! And for sharing your experience! Good to hear from you! I have had stitches before but not in such a visible area! I'm going to just voice all these concerns to the Dr. as well!! I think it'll be alright, better to get it out and never have to worry about it again!

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    • Posted

      Good attitude! Your health is so much more important than some little scars. Surgeons are much better at leaving a flawless scar than they used to.

      I've never had a bikini body but so glad my 6" scar doesn't remind me eveyday that it's there.

      Remember to wear loose clothing the day of surgery for your post surgery comfort.

      Best of luck on your surgery as well as your results!!

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