Cyst: when should an ovarian cyst be operated?

Changes, even if they are small, are able to evolve and cause irregularities that affect the functioning of different body structures. One of these cases is the cyst , which, although not dangerous at first, can unbalance the organism and cause discomfort in the long run.

So, find out what are the most common types of cysts, how they form and the correct way to treat them


What is a cyst?

According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, the cyst is characterized as a benign nodule that can appear in any region of the body, however, they are more common on the face and neck, due to the presence of sebaceous glands. Due to the region, they are called epidermal cysts.

In general, it is like a small puff of swollen tissue, due to the accumulation of liquids, solid or gaseous substances (air, blood, fat, water, etc.) inside it.

There are no ways to prevent a cyst, as it can be caused by different factors and it is a condition that everyone is likely to have.

However, performing routine consultations helps in early identification and, consequently, monitoring by the doctor, decreasing the chances of complications resulting from the cyst.

What is the difference between cyst and nodule?

The main difference between a cyst and a lump is what is filling the inside of each one. While a cyst is usually hollow inside, or filled with fluids, such as water and blood, the lump, in turn, has no liquid filling it, being larger (about 1 cm in diameter) and more solid.

A nodule can form as a result of a cyst, so it is possible to consider an evolutionary stage of the cyst. Even though it is not harmful, at first, it is important to go to the doctor so that he can examine you, as the nodule can be malignant and cancerous.

How does a cyst form?

A cyst forms in any region of the body, due to an infection at the site, an agent considered foreign (parasites, worms, bacteria), clogged sebaceous glands, hormonal changes or abnormalities in the development process.

A cyst, in general, grows slowly and does not cause pain, being almost imperceptible without a medical examination. Therefore, those who are in the habit of performing check-ups at appropriate times are more likely to identify it early.

Types of cyst

A cyst can form in any region of the body, so there are different types that are given a certain name according to the affected area. The most common examples are:


This type affects the cartilaginous tissue, since the synovial fluid that is present in this area (used to lubricate and nourish the joints) ends up not flowing correctly, accumulating and forming the cyst. It is possible to locate it in regions such as wrists, ankles, knees and feet.

Usually, they arise due to minor injuries or structural irregularities, such as sprains, movements with great effort or repeated extensively and defects in the joints.

Although not considered serious, this type of cyst (if it is beyond normal size) can cause pain and discomfort when performing daily activities, being necessary to start treatment with anti-inflammatories and aspiration of the liquid that fills, causing it is eliminated quickly.


Cysts can form in different parts of the uterus, so there are endometrial cysts, which appear in the endometrium, (layer of the inner lining of the uterus) and myometrial cysts that affect the myometrium (muscle layer of the uterus).

Both, in general, do not present a risk to women and can be located by means of an ultrasound scan.

An example of a uterine cyst is the Naboth cyst, which tends to appear in the cervix when there is an excess in the release of mucus by the Naboth glands, leading to the accumulation of this secretion in the blocked ducts.


Sebaceous cysts are the most frequent and can be identified more easily, as they appear under the skin due to the accumulation of dead cells, substances (keratin, sebum) in the region.

Therefore, it has fibroelastic consistency and may appear skin-colored or yellowish.

This type of cyst is considered simple, and in most cases, drug treatments are not necessary, as they usually appear due to small disorders in the hair follicles and glands present in the inner layer of the skin.

According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, the symptoms that accompany the sebaceous cyst are pain, irritation, itching, a hot sensation in the affected area and discharge of secretion (pus) in some cases.

In the ovary

The presence of a cyst in the ovary is generally not considered harmful to women, as it arises due to imbalances that occur during the phases of the female hormonal process (menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause ) and also due to the use of some medications.

However, it is recommended to seek the gynecologist to ensure that the cyst will not progress to a malignant stage and that symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain (which some women may have) are alleviated.

In the head

Cysts located in the head region, in general, affect the fetus during gestational development or after birth. This type of cyst is considered to be benign and does not pose great risks to the child, however, it is necessary to be aware of the symptoms that may accompany the cyst (indicating an increase in size or that the cyst is affecting the brain area).

The diagnosis of a cyst on the head is made by means of an ultrasound (during the development of the fetus) computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, after birth. There are usually three forms of classification for a cyst in this region, they are:

  • The racnóide: can be congenital (from birth) or arise due to trauma and infections in the region. It occurs due to the accumulation of liquid between the membranes that cover the brain and usually does not cause symptoms.
  • vascular lexo:  You can identify during the ultrasound done in the 14th week of pregnancy and reaches only 1% of fetuses and is considered rare. The cause is excess fluid in brain cavities that have dead skin.

What are the causes?

The causes that can lead to the development of a cyst can be very different from each other, so the cysts can arise in any tissue in the body.

In general, the causes are: infections, defects in the baby’s development, genetic factors, tumors, cell defects, inflammatory diseases, lesions or traumas in the affected tissues, gland block, hormonal changes and pregnancy.

When is a cyst dangerous?

A cyst, in most cases, is not considered dangerous and usually disappears naturally or after using anti-inflammatory drugs. However, in certain situations this does not occur, that is, the cyst does not disappear after a few weeks (not even with the use of medication).

In addition, it begins to increase in size, becoming a lump. In this case, it is recommended to go to the doctor as soon as possible to perform an examination and confirm that the cyst has not arisen due to more serious health complications.

In the case of internal cysts, in which the person cannot perceive, it is important to pay attention to the symptoms, and also go to the doctor for further clarification about the origin and evolution of the cyst.

When does a cyst turn into cancer?

There is no direct link between the presence of a cyst and the existence of cancer in the body, since most cysts are benign, however, in situations where the cyst evolves over time, becoming a hard lump, it is necessary to visiting a health professional, especially if the affected area is the breasts.

What are the symptoms of cyst?

In general, the cyst in its initial phase is characterized by being asymptomatic, that is, it does not cause symptoms, which makes it difficult for the person to identify it (unless it is external, such as the sebaceous, which is easier to detect because it is on the skin) it). Therefore, it is common for a cyst to appear and disappear, without being noticed.

However, depending on the area in which it is located and the size it presents, some symptoms may cause discomfort for the person, such as pain, itching, lack of strength in the affected limb and tingling. When the cyst is internal, the symptoms can be changes in the menstrual cycle, pain during sexual intercourse, nausea, nausea, among others.

How is the diagnosis made?

The way to diagnose a cyst will depend on the affected region, because for each area there is a specific type of tests and exams that can be done to identify its presence. That way, only a doctor will know which test should be indicated for the situation.

In addition, in some cases where a more severe condition is suspected, a biopsy (taking a sample of the skin covering the cyst for laboratory analysis) may be necessary.

Treatment: what are the options?

The treatment for cysts varies according to the affected region and also according to the symptoms caused. Thus, only after a medical consultation is it possible to define the most appropriate treatment for the cyst.

In general, it can be treated with medications that alleviate pain and reduce inflammation or by means of a surgical intervention that drains the substances present inside the cyst, eliminating it.

When should an ovarian cyst be operated?

A cyst in the ovary must be operated when it presents characteristics considered to be at risk, such as: being larger than 10 cm and having liquid fluids inside solid compounds inside.

To make sure that the cyst does not pose a risk to women’s health or did not arise due to cancer or tumor, a biopsy may be indicated by the doctor in which it is a surgical procedure that consists of removing a piece of tissue of the cyst for laboratory analysis.

How is ovarian cyst removal surgery performed?

In general, surgery for the removal of an ovarian cyst is performed using a laparoscopic technique that works as follows: small incisions of 1 to 1.5 cm are made at strategic points (such as the umbilical region and the iliac fossae) ) in the abdomen, so that the laparoscopic is inserted and allows the visibility of Organs internal organs, facilitating the use of surgical instruments and the removal of the cyst in the ovary.

Before inserting the laparoscope, a tube that releases carbon dioxide is introduced to lengthen the abdominal cavities and provide a clear view of the internal structures through the laparoscope.

The postoperative period is usually quick, since the technique is considered to be minimally invasive, therefore, the patient tends to stay only one or two days in the hospital.

It is worth mentioning that the withdrawal is not a guarantee that they will not appear again, because while the woman is in her fertile period, (in which there are several hormonal changes) there are chances of the appearance in the region.