Medical Q&As

Ovarian cyst - confused?

Following a recent ultrasound I was diagnosed with a complex ovarian cyst. I was referred to a gynaecologist who decided to operate and remove the cyst. However when she operated the cyst was gone! Is this common? My gynaecologist said that the ultrasound might have picked up something else like an extended bowel? I am confused.

Ovarian cysts can be divided into two broad categories, simple cysts and complex cysts. A simple cyst appears as a bubble like structure attached to the ovary whereas a complex cyst may have an irregular thick wall and contain several internal compartments. Ultrasound scans are not infallible and sometimes a ballooned area of gut in close proximity to the ovary might look like an ovarian cyst. It is also possible that a cyst may have been present at the time of the ultrasound examination but it ruptured spontaneously before you underwent surgery. It is not unusual for ovarian cysts to disappear without being treated. Given the findings on ultrasound examination it was appropriate for your gynaecologist to perform surgery and explore the area. Had a cyst been present at the time of surgery it would then have been removed and analysed in the laboratory in order to be sure that it was a benign structure.