Ovarian Cystadenoma – What it is and What to Expect


If you have been diagnosed with an ovarian cystadenoma, you need to know what it is and what to expect next. A cystadenoma differs from a cyst in that it can grow much larger and it will require surgery to treat.

An ovarian cystadenoma is an abnormal growth that forms from ovarian tissue. Most of the time, these are not cancerous. However, left untreated, they can grow exceptionally large.

There are two types of cystadenomas: serous and mucinous. Serous, despite sounding like serious, are not as severe as mucinous. Serous cystadenomas are filled with a thin, watery liquid. They usually grow up to between two and six inches in diameter. Mucinous cystadenomas are filled with a sticky thick liquid. They grow much larger: between 6 and 12 inches in diameter. In rare cases, they have been known to weigh up to 100 pounds.

Cystadenomas are usually diagnosed using an ultrasound. If the doctor sees a large mass on your ovary, he may order an x-ray. This x-ray will determine if the cyst is filled with liquid or is solid, and will help the doctor determine if it could be a malignant tumor.

The treatment for an ovarian cystadenoma is to surgically remove it. If it is smaller, the doctor will perform a laparoscopy. This involves making a small incision in the lower abdomen and inserting a narrow tube called a laparoscope. This tube allows the doctor to see into your abdomen and remove smaller cysts.

If the cystadenoma is larger than 2 ½ inches in diameter, the doctor will need to do surgery. He will remove the cyst, and in some case, the ovary. If cancer is suspected, a total hysterectomy is usually performed.

One good thing about an ovarian cystadenoma is that they rarely come back. If it is removed completely, you are likely to never get another one. Even if you lose one ovary to a cystadenoma, you still have a chance of getting pregnant.