Pelvic Mass-Need ovary removed- What is recovery time like and what should I expect?

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Hi ladies,

I am not sure how long I have had this cyst on my ovary but about 3 weeks ago I experienced a sharp pain on my right side during intercourse. Afterwards, I experienced extremely painful crampin and shooting pain from my lower right side up to my belly button. The pain eventually went away but then it would come back sporadically throughout the week.  I exercise at least 4 days a week and I realized that I was experiencing pain and discomfort just from walking on the treadmill. This is the factor that caused me to go see  my gyno. During my check up my doctor said right away it felt like a cyst. She had me get a vaginal ultrasound that day and told me it was a dermoid cyst. I was told to come back within 2 days to discuss options. 2 days later I go back and she tells me it has taken over my right ovary and will need to be removed along with the cyst. This is really upsetting to me because I am only 22. I know you can still have children but just makes me paranoid about my one remaining ovary after surgery.  My doctor sent me for a MRI to get a better image of the cyst to determing how they would proceed with surgery. I am meeting with her tomorrow to discuss. I know recovery is different for everyone and it does somewhat depend on what kind of surgery you have but I was wondering overall what I should expect? Are there any side effects anyone has experienced?

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi! First of all, let me just say that I am so sorry about the pain you're going through.

    I'm fourteen, and a month ago I had a laparoscopy for a 5cm dermoid cyst on my right ovary. They couldn't save the ovary sadly. I know what you mean by the fact that you know you can still have children, but it's still an uncomfortable feeling.

    As for surgery goes, like you said, it depends on what type you have, and who you are in general. I'll be completely honest with you and just say that for me, it was no big deal. I was a nervous wreck before but now looking back on it, if I had to do it again I wouldn't be too worried. The anesthesia is amazing! It's just like taking a nap. When you wake up, you may have a little pain, but it will be controlled.

    I'd say the worst part is the gas pain. In order to look inside of there they fill you up with some gas (forgot the name). It will take a few days to get it out of your chest, but walking really helps.

    I wish you best of luck! If you want to hear a full step by step walk through of the procedure and what to expect, check out some of my posts! I think it will help. Best of luck!


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    • Posted

      Thank you smile I hope you are feeling well after having your surgery a month ago. This is just all frustrating. I just feel like it came out of nowhere. Funny thing is though after reading all the symptoms that a cyst can cause,I realized that I have been experiencing some other symptoms like fatigue for awhile now and didn't think much about it. Funny how the body works!

      Appreciate your feedback!

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  • Posted

    Hello Dee

    I am so sorry you have to go through at such a young age and KellinHanas - what a mature and lovely girl you are dealing with that surgey ! Well done. 

    Anyway I have a large dermoid cyst on my left ovary which had to be removed fully - including ovary and fallopian tube but I was 44 (last year) so had completed my family. I have heard of many women successfully having babies with one ovary so I am sure you will be fin eon that level especuially as you are so fit and well. 

    I had a full incision - so like a cesearean. You can't even see the scar now. I was in hosptal for about 36 hours and walked to the car etc so felt fine once the drugs had worn off. I was advised to take 6 weeks off and I did need about 4 weeks and I was very sore and uncomfortable but managed to get about and drive after a couple of weeks. I was tired after the general anaesthetic but I am older and not that fit! I would definitely not recommend rushing back to do anything, especially exercise or work if it is demanding - be kind to yourself. 

    Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions and just listen to your body - it will tel you when you are ready to get back to normal. 

    Good luck



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  • Posted


    I had huge cysts that never caused pain but wrecked havoc on my body. Please know there's nothing you could have done to prevent this and you were likely born with it and it's now gotten large enough to cause you problems.

    Hindsight tells me my cysts had been growing for decades and I was lucky to ever have a child. Symptoms are so vague sometimes and we women tend to dismiss the signals because they are often influenced by our hormones. So we just grin and bare it.

    Good you went to the Dr. right away and she got on it with prompt diagnosis. You'll learn more once they get in and see if there's anything else going on. Hopefully, being so young there's nothing else and you have a speedy recovery!

    Talk to your Dr. about follow up Ultrasounds to monitor the health of your remaining ovary. That way if anything does develop it can be dealt with much earlier and preserve your fertility.

    I know it's scary being so young and having to deal with this but your Dr. is taking this seriously which is great. So many women in this forum are dismissed and left to suffer. They have to fight to be taken seriously.

    So follow Drs. advice and maintain a healthy weight. I've been overweight most of my life and know that was a significant contributer.

    Good luck with your surgery. Wear loose comfortable clothing. Try to distract yourself by doing things you enjoy to stay calm. I found anesthesia to be the best sleep EVER! ;-)

    I had abdominal surgery so first week was most difficult. I'm a stomach sleeper so lack of sleep was the worst I had to deal with. Get up and walking as quickly as you can. Helps in so many ways. Be generous to yourself and don't overdue. Don't worry about any hard lumps in incisions they will resolve over time. I learned picking up dropped things with my toes much less painful than bending over. Hold on to something for balance though. Also take a good book or something you enjoy doing to pass the time.

    You will get back to normal but not as fast as you'd like ;-) so relax a roll with it. Rest when you tire. That's mosi important, listen to your body. Your youth is your advantage. One tip for vanity, my scar is almost invisible but someimes still tender if I bump it against the counter but otherwise no issues.

    Hopefully this helps. I hold you in my prayers, best of luck!!

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    • Posted

      Thank you for all the well wishing! I am happy everything went well with your surgery and that you are doing better now.

      I went to the doctor today to gover the results of the MRI and learned my cyst is 5.3cm and now my doctor thinks we should not rush to surgery and should wait 2 months to monitor it. This is kind of frustrating to me. I do not want to have my ovary taken out but at the same time I do not want to have to continue on with the pain and discomfort. I am also worried about it getting bigger and spreading on the fallopian tube.

      I am just confused now and upset that she rushed into the surgery option and now is going a whole new path.

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    • Posted


      Yes, you need to clarify one thing with your doc asap:

      is it definitely a dermoid cyst (or any kind of compex cyst)

      or just a simple cyst.

      A simple cyst (just liquid inside, functional cyst) can be monitored,

      e.g. a hemorrhagic (functional) cyst (with even some white fibrin structures inside) can be hence monitored,

      an endometrioma (looks like fibrin structures, too since blood clots) will never disappear on the other hand,

      if it was for sure (however that can be determinded prior histology?)

      a dermoid cyst, it will never go away, too,

      hence needs to come out.


      It sounds as if the diagnose 'dermoid cyst' is in question?

      Please ask your doc for the type of cyst.

      A dermoid cyst and waiting? Does  not make any sense at all.

      You are so right.

      (BTW: a dermoid cyst is a benign growth = does not infiltrate anything like your fallopian tube, it grows in a capsule, well defined, but can squeeze other organ tissue, but not infitrate. The fallopian tube is highly flexible and moves around (or is actually lifted around in laparoscopy). So that's not the issue usually to urge for surgery, it's more the fact, that it will never go away and only grow and maybe twist ovary due to weight or influence rest of ovary tissue by squeezing it.)

      All the best and good luck with clarification. You got very mixed info about nature of cyst. 

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    • Posted

      Oh I hear you. Did the MRI results show a liquid filled cyst? That can resolve over time but she should've explained her change of plan. Especially you are having to alter your life to minimize the pain.

      Do you have a follow up scheduled? If not maybe you should put your questions together and request a phone consult.

      The unknown sucks. Plus you were braced for surgery. You must feel so let down. Push for information you are comfortable with or get a second opinion with a specialist.

      Keep us posted.

      Holding you in my thoughts. XXX

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