Ovarian Cysts Surgery Singapore

What are Ovarian Cysts?

Ovarian cysts are fluid filled sacs in the ovaries.


Most ovarian cysts are 'functional cysts' which contain clear fluid. Such cysts are relatively common and occur in relation to the development of the egg in the ovary during the menstrual cycle. The cysts arise when there are problems with ovulation, and the egg is not released properly. These cysts usually resolve on their own with time. However, some ovarian cysts may be persistent or increase in size over time. If there are symptoms of pain or risks of cancer, surgery may be necessary.

Women who are pregnant or experiencing hormonal imbalance may be at an increased risk of developing ovarian cysts. Cysts in the ovaries are usually not painful or harmful. They also vary in size, type, and form; and fluid, or semi-solid materials may be present within.

Ovarian cysts can be classified into two main categories: functional and pathological. Functional cysts are benign and typically appear during the menstrual cycle, while pathological cysts are persistent and may either be benign or malignant.

What are the Types of Ovarian Cysts?

The following are some common types of ovarian cysts in Singapore:

  • Follicle Cysts - This type of cyst develops when the follicles that form during the menstrual cycle are unable to rupture and release eggs, resulting in cyst formation.
  • Corpus Luteum Cysts - These cysts develop when the sac responsible for releasing eggs fails to shrink and instead collects fluid within the follicle (corpus luteum).
  • Endometriotic Cysts or endometriomas - These tumours typically occur in women who have endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrium) develops outside the uterus.
  • Cystadenomas - These cysts appear on the outside of the ovaries and contain a watery fluid or mucoid substance (mucin).
  • Dermoid Cysts - These cystic growths are made up of hair, fat, or skin cells and are usually present at birth or in adolescents but may grow over time.

What are the Common Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts?

Patients may exhibit symptoms if an ovarian cyst enlarges, gets ruptured or twisted, or develops an infection. Common symptoms of ovarian cysts may include:

  • Bloatedness
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Vaginal bleeding outside of one’s period
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Frequent urination
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Infertility

It is important to seek medical attention when experiencing any of the above symptoms as they can be indicative of other conditions, which should be identified.

What are the Main Causes of Ovarian Cysts Development?

Several factors can contribute to the development of ovarian cysts, including:

  • Certain hormone treatments such as fertility drugs given to induce ovulation, or low dose progesterone- only contraception may lead to ovarian cysts
  • Any underlying conditions, such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Pregnancy: Sometimes, the corpus luteum cyst that forms after ovulation remains in the ovary throughout pregnancy.
  • Previous ovarian cysts: If you have had one ovarian cyst, you are likely to develop more.

When cysts persist or cause noticeable symptoms, a gynaecologist must be consulted for the appropriate ovarian cyst treatment in Singapore.

How Do You Get Checked for Ovarian Cysts in Singapore?

Diagnostic tests for ovarian cysts may include:

  • Physical Examination - This involves the gynaecologist palpating the pelvic or lower abdominal area in order to feel for any abnormalities that may be indicative of a cyst.
  • Ultrasound - This utilises high-frequency sound waves to visualise the uterus and ovaries to determine the presence, size, location, and nature of cysts present.
  • Laparoscopy - This type of ovarian cysts surgery in Singapore involves the insertion of a camera-equipped instrument (laparoscope) into a small incision in the abdomen to examine and remove certain ovarian cysts if deemed necessary.
  • Blood Test - This test is performed for ovarian cancer screening in suspected cases, where the doctor checks the level of hormones and a blood protein known as cancer antigen (CA-125).

How is Treatment for Endometriosis and Endometriotic Cyst Determined?

The decision on which is the best treatment option depends on a variety of factors. These include:

  • the nature of the ovarian cyst’s symptoms e.g. severity of pain
  • the desire for fertility (usually done to prepare for IVF treatment).
  • the size of the ovarian cyst lesion
  • the risk for cancerous changes in the ovarian cyst

What are the Treatments Available for Ovarian cysts, as well as Endometriosis and Endometriotic Cysts?

  • Observation of ovarian cysts
    Ultrasound scans are useful for the monitoring of ovarian cysts. Blood tests such as ovarian cancer markers like CA 125 may also be performed to monitor the risk for cancer.
  • Medication and hormonal treatment for ovarian cysts
    Medication such as painkillers may be prescribed for pain from the ovarian cyst. In some cases, hormonal suppression of the menstrual cycle with birth control pills or injections may be recommended.
  • Ovarian Cyst Surgery

    • Cystectomy
      Cystectomy refers to surgery to remove the cysts while leaving the ovary intact. For women keen for fertility, cystectomy allows the cysts to be removed while conserving the ovaries. Cystectomy will enable the cyst to be sent for biopsy and confirm if the cyst is non- cancerous or not. Such surgery is usually performed by laparoscopy (minimally- invasive or key- hole method). If there is a high risk of ovarian cancer, surgery by laparotomy (abdominal or open method involving a larger incision) may be offered.
    • Oophorectomy
      Surgery to remove the ovary is the permanent solution for ovarian cysts but the ovary is an important source of hormones. If early menopause occurs, hormone replacement therapy may be needed.
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