Cyst Aspiration

What is Cyst Aspiration?

The surgeon makes small incisions through which a thin scope (laparoscope) can pass into the abdomen. The surgeon identifies the cyst through the scope and may remove the cyst or take a sample from it.

Why is it done?

Because ovarian cysts are commonly found in young women, many infertile women will also be noted to have ovarian cysts . An ovarian cyst is a small fluid-filled sac that grows in the ovary. Because the cyst usually resolves within one or two menstrual periods, it does not cause infertility. If the cyst does not disappear or respond to medical treatment, then rarely surgery might be considered, since a persistent cyst may be malignant, especially at an advanced reproductive age.

Most ovarian cysts don’t lead to symptoms, but when they do, these can include menstrual irregularities from a hormonal effect, pelvic or low back pain that can vary from mild, occasional pain to severe, persistent pain, pain during intercourse, a feeling of fullness or heaviness in the low abdomen or pelvis, and if the cyst is large enough, pressure on other organs like the bladder or bowel. Occasionally, cysts can twist on their stalks or rupture leading to sudden severe pain that should be evaluated ASAP.

When these symptoms appear a cyst will be either aspirated or removed for biopsy.

What to expect after the surgery?

The procedure takes about 20 minutes to complete after which you maybe taken to the ward for observation and then allowed to go home.

What are the risks of the surgery?

The procedure is safe and generally well tolerated.

  • There may be some discomfort, controlled with local anaesthetic, or a dull ache following the procedure, which may last a few hours.
  • Bleeding into the abdomen or vagina may occur, and can be associated with pain. It should stop quickly and need no treatment.
  • The bowl or bladder may be punctured, but the needle is thin and this should not cause any problem.
  • In some circumstances it may not be possible to complete the procedure. For example it may not be possible to drain the cyst fluid if it is very thick, or the procedure may not be possible if access to the cyst is too difficult.
  • After the aspiration, the cyst may recur, and refill with fluid, or new cysts may develop. It is not possible to know in advance where it will happen.

What are the alternatives of the surgery?

An alternative would be open surgery or laparascopic (keyhole) surgery.