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I had a dull pain on my side (left lower abdomen, along the hip line) for two years (note: don’t describe pain as dull to doctors unless you want them to ignore you) which then turned into a shooting pain when I stood up after peeing. I finally had a pelvic ultrasound (which is an ultrasound that goes inside of you through the vagina), I had previously only had a regular ultrasound which doesn’t show the same view.
The doctor found a teratoma (dermoid cyst) which was stuck to my right ovary (weird, right? since the pain was on my left). The teratoma was the size of a grapefruit (which is apparently fairly common for this type of cyst). – (side note: Most teratomas are benign (they’re really just a big ball of tissue) but the doctor will not be able to confirm that officially until they have removed and biopsied the cyst.) From the ultrasound, the doctor could not tell if there was still blood flow in my right ovary or if the cyst had cut that off completely.
I waited about 3 weeks to have the surgery to remove the cyst (doctor was fine with this, she wanted to get it out soon but didn’t feel that it was an emergency since I don’t believe this type of cyst can burst). The surgeon who performed this surgery was a gynecological oncologist (event though they didn’t believe it was cancerous) because she was the best at performing laparoscopic cyst removal.
During the surgery they removed the cyst. They also found that the cyst had cut off blood flow and “killed” the right ovary so they removed that as well. The cyst was also stuck to my appendix and the doctor felt the appendix looked infected so they removed that as well. I only have three tiny scars despite all of this and the doctors assured me that losing an ovary does not impact your fertility!
My abdomen was very sore for a week or so after the surgery (I couldn’t sit up on my own the first day) but otherwise the recovery was not bad.