Ovarian cysts are small sacs that grow on your ovaries and fill with fluid. They’re extremely common, and almost every woman gets at least one in her lifetime.
Generally speaking, ovarian cysts are a normal part of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Your ovaries transform throughout your menstrual cycle, and cysts often develop as part of this natural process. They often come and go without causing any noticeable symptoms.
But in some cases, ovarian cysts do cause symptoms. Some women suffer painful, large, or ruptured cysts, and others develop gynecological conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can make cysts a recurring problem.
If you have painful cysts, treatment can make a difference. Board-certified OB/GYN A. Michael Coppa, MD, and our team provide comprehensive gynecologic care. We’re here to help you find the right treatment — from hormonal birth control to robotic surgery.
When to consider robotic surgery for ovarian cysts
The two most common types of ovarian cysts are follicle cysts and corpus luteum cysts. Both of these are known as functional cysts, and they form during your menstrual cycle.
If Dr. Coppa diagnoses ovarian cysts, he typically recommends conservative treatment first. Many of our patients find that conservative care is enough to manage their symptoms
But conservative methods may not be appropriate in every case. Dr. Coppa might want you to consider robotic surgery when:
Conservative treatment isn’t enough
The most common treatments for ovarian cysts are watchful waiting and hormonal birth control.
Most cysts disappear on their own with time, and watchful waiting ensures that no complications arise in the meantime. Hormonal birth control can help regulate your menstrual cycle and prevent new cysts from developing.
These treatments can be very effective. But if you’ve tried them and you still have pain or other symptoms, or a cyst that continues to grow larger, it might be time to consider robotic surgery.
Your cysts are cancerous
Most ovarian cysts aren’t cancerous, but some types can be. Your risk of ovarian cancer may be higher if you are postmenopausal, and Dr. Coppa can help you decide if ovarian cancer screening is right for you.
If Dr. Coppa identifies cancer in your ovaries or ovarian cysts, surgery to remove the cancerous growth may be the best option for you.
You have ovarian torsion
Ovarian torsion is a rare but serious compilation that can develop alongside ovarian cysts. It happens when an ovary gets twisted, cutting off blood supply to the tissues. It’s intensely painful and requires immediate medical care.
Surgery is the only treatment for ovarian torsion. To treat it, Dr. Coppa removes cysts if they’re present, then untwists your ovary and fallopian tubes as needed.
What to expect with robotic surgery for ovarian cysts
Dr. Coppa uses the da Vinci® robotic surgical system for gynecologic surgery. He is in the operating room with you during the procedure, but uses a computer and handheld devices to guide surgical tools held by robotic arms.
Robotic surgery is extremely precise, and it offers a handful of benefits over traditional open surgery. Smaller incisions and enhanced accuracy lead to less blood loss, lower risk of complications, and smaller surgical scars.
Depending on your diagnosis, Dr. Coppa may perform one of two surgical procedures to treat your ovarian cysts. Cystectomy removes only the affected cysts, while leaving your ovaries intact. Oophorectomy removes the entire affected ovary.
You don’t have to suffer the pain and discomfort of ovarian cysts. Work with Dr. Coppa to find a treatment plan that fits your needs. Call our offices in Cranston, Providence, or Smithfield, Rhode Island, or request an appointment online today.