My Ovarian Dermoid

Disclaimer: I am not a trained medical professional. This post should not be used as substitute for sound medical professional advice. Please consult a trained medical professional regarding any symptoms or concerns.

Three months ago, I had an operation to remove an ovarian dermoid cyst.  My doctor said it was most commonly filled with hair, teeth, fat, and bones.  Bizarre huh? Before this I had never heard of such a thing.  I’ve learned that people are born with these types of cysts and they are usually discovered in adulthood.  When my doctor said I had a “teratoma” or “tumour“, I was shaken up because I didn’t know whether or not that meant it could be cancer.  I read as much as I could about it and looked up every term I didn’t understand from the ultrasound reports, got onto discussion forums (I liked the one on for ovarian cysts and to see what advice other people had and what their experiences were.

The doctors had all said that removal through laparascopy (key hole surgery, shorter recovery) was their recommendation.  If by any chance they couldn’t remove it laparascopically, laparatomy (large incision, longer recovery) would be used.  I was scared about torsion (risk of rupture) and risks with surgery but excited because this could be the source of why I feel pressure/pain in my abdominal area, get full really fast, feel bloated and get an ache in my lower left back side.  Although, the doctors couldn’t confirm whether the dermoid was the cause of these symptoms.  They said we wouldn’t know for certain until we had this thing taken out.  They all did seem to agree that since I was a small girl and this thing was rather large approximately 8.5/11cm I might be feeling it a lot more than if I was a bigger.

On the day of surgery I was a lot more nervous than I thought I would be and the hours of anticipation only made it worse.  I was there from about 7:45am to about 5:30pm.  After chatting with a nurse and getting changed into a hospital gown, I was taken to the waiting room.  A couple hours later, I was taken to the operating area to chat one by one with the surgery nurse, anesthesiologist, and the two surgeons that would be operating on me.  I had no idea I’d be meeting with everyone before going into the operating room.

Once I was in the operating room, I remember lying down on a pillow, hearing the anaesthesiologist apologize for flicking his finger repeatedly against my wrist because he couldn’t find my vein and finally feeling the prick of the needle going into my arm. I complained that it really hurt and heard something that sounded like two blades rubbing against one another (probably tools) before I conked out.  The next memory was waking up in the recovery room with an extremely dry throat and not being able to make out much (I had to take off my glasses before the operation).  It felt as though no time had elapsed whatsoever, although several hours had gone by.  I asked for water from a nurse that passed by, she laughed and said “I can’t give you water, you’ll throw up”.  I remember thinking that it was sort of mean to laugh at me, but she was right because when I got home, I gulped down a lot of water and threw up.  An upside to the anesthesia was that it was the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.

The first couple of days post-op were horrible.  I remember feeling like the pain medication wasn’t working and when I was awake I couldn’t do very much but go to the washroom, sit in bed, or sleep.  Luckily, my sister was around to help me with moving around as I couldn’t use my abdominal muscles.  And every time they engaged by accident it hurt like hell and I had to remind myself to let go and “be dead weight”.

I took small steps in increasing my walking.  I had trouble with standing up straight because it felt like I was pulling on my stitches.  It really hurt to walk.  I felt my belly button stitches the most with every step (it felt like someone had stapled my stomach horizontally) so I’d crouch over and take small steps.  My energy level was pretty low although I gradually started to feel more like myself.  My visitors helped to keep my spirits up by chatting with me and made me feel like I wasn’t missing that much of the outside world.  I am especially thankful for my sister and boyfriend for their company and assistance during this time.

During my follow up, my doctor told me that the good news was the cyst was benign and that it turns out there were actually two of them inside of my left ovary and they stretched across my abdominal area.  Which wasn’t a surprise because the radiologist did say that the ultrasound was having a tough time getting a clear shot of my right ovary.

After four weeks recovering at home, I returned to work and two weeks later I started exercising again.  It took a while to transition back to my old routine as I was still low on energy and wasn’t used to sitting at a desk for an eight hour day.  I remember noticing how stressed everyone seemed to be.  It’s funny looking back and remembering how long my days felt during my recovery.  The recovery was a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be but It feels good to know that this is all behind me.

I was hesitant about writing this post because it is a personal story but I remember when I first found out about my ovarian dermoid I felt more at ease when I read other people’s stories.  I hope that someone might read this and find comfort in it.  Whatever the case, take an active interest in your health.  Keep up with routine physicals with your doctor and bring up any concerns, symptoms or changes in your body during your visits.  After all, it’s your body, if you’re not going to take care of it, well no one else will.

Wishing you all good health.

Related Posts:

My Ovarian Dermoid: “Does It Look Like A Hot Dog Or A Sausage?”

Highs & Lows: Reflecting on My Cystectomy

103 thoughts on “My Ovarian Dermoid

  1. Hi Julianna,
    Wow! this info really helps to prepare for my surgery too. I don’t know the date yet but very soon. I have the same Dermoid cyst for long time ago, about 6 to 7 years ago. however, recently pain bacame worest and my abdomen looks like 4 to 5 months pregnant. you really did an amazing job from your recovery it takes some people more than 1month. My doc. said it takes 2weeks but I don’t beleif it as you said.
    have you gotton pregnant yet or how is your ovulation and peroid do u have them every month? did they remove your ovary or just the cyst. I would really appriciate for your respond. pls email me at

    1. Hello Mary,
      I’m glad you found my post helpful. Oh, I totally hear you on the bloating and the pain. The good news is that at least you know what it is, now it’s just waiting to get your surgery date. Yes, recovery time varies greatly and before you know it you will be back in your regular routine. My doctor said that recovery can vary but since I was young, he though I should be good to get back to my routine in 2 week-3 weeks. He even said I could probably do some light jogging after 2 weeks – At that point, I was having enough trouble walking, I found it terribly exhausting and painful. Try having some ginger or peppermint tea which might help ease the bloating a bit. Thanks for leaving a comment. Expect an email from me soon to answer your questions.

      1. Hi…thank you for posting your story… I thought I was alone!! I just had surgery…I’ve been experiencing severe pain in my left… Went to e.r and found out I had an ovarian cyst size of 8cm, but at the time I was 10 weeks pregnant…. Two weeks later I had surgery and turns out my ovarian cyst is dermoid cyst… I feel your pain as I’m a little girl also 5’1. I felt so nasty after surgery and once I had my first glass of water I couldn’t stop throwing up.. Also like you I needed assistance in and out of bed….everything I do hurts my stomach..from coughing to sneezing…even when I had to urinate it was the worst pain ever…this is my first week of recovery…I’m feeling a bit better… Can walk a little now but I’m always crouch over because I cannot walk straight yet…than you so much for your post, because I thought I was alone and that my recovery was taking too long…your story made me feel much better..than you

      2. Hello Katoe!
        Thank you for sharing your experience. Thank you for commenting. I remember feeling too tired to even write/read on the computer in the first two weeks, so I really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to.
        First week is the toughest but it gets better. I was hunched over when walking around as well, so just stand straighter when you have more strength. Since you’re pregnant too (must make this even more challenging), take it easy, don’t lift a thing and let others help you.

        Go outside for a walk (even if it’s just on your street & even with assistance) – the fresh air will make you feel better.

        Wishing you a quick recovery!

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience, Julianna. I found out I had a 7.3cm ovarian dermoid cyst from an Ultrasound after a routine gyne exam by my GP. Im researching experiences to help with my pre op anxiety now that I have seen my surgeon and have been given an OR date.

    1. Hello Rhodora,
      You’re welcome. Thank you for leaving a comment and sharing about yourself, I really appreciate it. I hope that your anxiety is better after reading more about the experiences of others. My advice would be to do keep reading about other people’s experiences, do as much home preparation as you can for your operation and to ask for help from your loved ones.

      Here are a couple of my other posts on my dermoid.

      Highs & Lows:
      Does it look like a sausage:

      Wishing you a quick and smooth recovery.

  3. I love reading your story. I just found out that I have a dermoid tumor on my left ovary. I have the same symptoms, the pelvic pain, constant urinating, lower back pain, feeling bloated all the time, even intimacy with my husband is uncomfortable. When my doctor called me about this thing, I felt like it was something straight out of a sci-fi movie. I am scheduled to have surgery in a month. Were you able to come home the same day or did you have to stay in the hospital for a few days?

      1. Thanks again. Your story and information is very helpful in getting me prepared for what to do before and after this surgery experience.

        God bless you. : )

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience. I found out I have a dermoid cyst. I like to prepare myself for what is to come so I’ve read a lot of websites specializing in medical information to educate myself. I found your blog the most helpful of the 30 or so I’ve read. Thank you for sharing. Its a personal journey but I think having this information is helpful for those in my situation that are unsure of the steps. Thank you again for sharing!

    1. Hello Leah! Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my experience. I can completely relate. I read as much as I could about the dermoid and the procedure so that I could understand what it was and what the operation would entail. Wow! That is extremely flattering to hear that you found my blog post the most helpful. You might be interested in other posts I shared on my experience. Here are the links.
      My Ovarian Dermoid: Does it look like a hot dog or a sausage?
      Highs & Lows: Reflecting on My Cystectomy
      Wishing you well!

  5. I too just had a surgery for my dermoid cyst removal – I actually got it done as an emergency (6 weeks after having my first baby) since the torsion was that bad. It’s been rough with a 10 week old baby (Had my surgery 3 weeks ago) and having to recover from the surgery. But reading your post makes me feel better. I can’t wait to get back my stamina …I feel pretty tired most of the time..since I’m nursing as well..initially I couldn’t get out of bed without wincing in pain b/c of the stitches. Now the pain happens only when I cough or sneeze! So you’d say 6 weeks is safe to get back to an exercise routine? Thanks!

    1. Hello Rohini, Sorry to hear that you had to have it removed as an emergency because of the torison. That’s something that I was afraid for when I found out about mine and was waiting for the operation. For me, six weeks was enough. However, everyone will have to make that decision for themselves because we are all different. In your case, you just gave birth a few weeks ago (CONGRATULATIONS BTW!), there’s probably a lot of adjustment going on at home. I would check with your doctor first before pursuing any exercises. If you have a specific activity you want to resume, tell them so they can advise you on what would be best for your healing. In the big scheme of things, taking a break to heal and recover until you feel strong enough to resume regular activities can only be good for you. Take it slow, be patient with yourself, and celebrate your milestones. Thanks for posting!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this, I’m due to go for an operation for this on Thurs & am a bit nervous as I didn’t know that to expect but this post has reassured me a little.


  7. Hi Juliannayu.
    I have to have surgery to remove the same cyst in January i am constantly thinking about but i know ill be happy and back to normal once its removed and it helps to read stories like yours. Was just wondering, were they still able to remove it by key hole surgery? i have a 5cm x 6.5cm and im worried about how they will remove it.

    1. Hey Kimberley
      I remember thinking a lot about it when I was waiting for a date. When I got the date, it felt all the more real. Enjoy your holidays and make the most of the time before surgery. As for whether they will be able to get yours out via keyhole surgery. There’s always a risk of laparotomy. I went in knowing that the surgeon would do their best to do keyhole but that if there were complications they would have to do a laparotomy. I just accepted it and hoped for the best. Mine was 8.5/11.
      Wishing you a great holiday and swift recovery! Thank you for commenting.

      1. hi just an update
        i had my surgery canceled on the 9th just before they were going to put me into the operating room so very nerve racking and was quite upset. Finally had surgery on the 16th of this month. All went well and they were able to do keyhole. not feeling to bad afterwards but i do have the pain in the shoulders and fills like my tummy is full all the time. how long did it take you to feel normal again and with cycle and stuff to?

      2. Hello Kim!
        Thank you for coming back with an update! And a day after your operation – That’s AMAZING! I could barely sit up to read or type anything in the first few days.
        It sounds soo horrible that they cancelled on you on the 9th and right before you were about to go in. I can only imagine how upset you must’ve felt. The good news is that the operation – the day that you were anticipating is behind you. Great to hear they do keyhole, you’re recovery will be much quicker that way.

        The pain in your shoulders is normal. I didn’t have it but I read about it before my operation and had asked my doctor about it. It’s because of the gas they pump into you during the operation is trying to escape. My tummy also felt bloated, My belly looked bigger than usual. Don’t worry, this will ease up overtime. 🙂

        Great questions. I will try my best to answer but just know that we all take different amounts of time to probably feel completely normal. When I returned to work, 4 weeks after recovering I didn’t feel completely normal. I would still get tired. In fact, I remember feeling like the day was so long and that my lunch bag was so heavy (I didn’t even carry a purse or anything else). I just wasn’t use to carrying anything and having to sit at a desk and a computer for 8 hours was really draining. I would say it probably took me a couple of months to get use to everything and feel like it was a normal routine. I had to get use to my pre-op normal life.
        As for my cycle, I don’t believe I had any issues there, I was regular. 🙂

        Take it easy as much as you can, don’t rush to lift things and take walks outside if you can. It helped me a lot! Don’t worry about rushing your recovery. It will happen, your time to rest is now. 🙂

  8. Hi,

    I was glad to find this. I’m getting ready to have my surgery 3/29. I have a dermoid about the size of softball on my right ovary and they say the ovary needs to be removed as well. I’ve never had surgery before, so that alone scares the daylights out of me. But this thing has me in so much pain, that I can’t wait to have it out of me. I don’t know how long I’ve had this, but I had all the symptoms, 2 month long very heavy periods, I look like I’m 5 months preg, it’s just been so miserable. I believe I’ll be having the laparatomy since they have to remove both, and they are suspecting a 4-6 week recovery period. Reading this helped, I’m glad you shared. I’ll be glad to have all this behind me and start feeling better again.

    Any advice would be cherished, thank you again for sharing your story.


    1. Hi Suzanne,

      Thanks for leaving a comment and for your kind words. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been so miserable and experiencing painful symptoms.
      I don’t think I have any other advice then what I’ve already shared on my blog posts. Basically, take it easy, be gentle with yourself and make sure you bring up any and all concerns with your surgeon/doctor.

      I realize today is your surgery day. Sorry for my delay in response. I am wishing you a quick recovery and hope you feel better soon. 🙂

  9. Hi Julianna,

    Thank You so much for sharing your story. Extremely helpful! My sister is having the same surgery. The size of her dermoid cyst is close to 4cm..Were you able to keep both your ovaries? The doctors have been telling her she has a big risk of losing her ovary and we are very worried 😦 Thank You in advance for your answer. 🙂

    1. Hi Mindy,
      Sorry to hear about your sister. Going into the surgery I was worried about my ovary as well but I knew that the doctors would do the best they could do and I just had to hope for the best. Yes, I was able to keep both of mine. But everyone will be different.
      Hope your sister has a smooth surgery and quick recovery. 🙂

  10. Hi! I just found your site. I have the exact dermoid cyst situation as you did. Mine is on the right ovary and they believe there are two in it but it stretches across my stomach also and they are having troubles finding my left ovary on the ultrasound. It’s 7 cm and they are going to have to perform laparotomy. Did they do a laparoscopic or laparotomy on you? and were they able to save your ovary?

    1. Hi Brit!
      Sounds like your case does sound quite similar to mine. In my case, my surgeon took the laparoscopic route but I knew that there was a chance I would wake up and they might’ve gone the laparotomy route. I was able to keep both my ovaries.
      If you have any concerns, just speak with your surgeon. Hope you have a smooth surgery and quick recovery.

  11. Hello I’m having a laproscially removal of a dermoid cyst that’s considered large on my left ovary…..the doctor suggested taking my left ovary along with the large cyst does that mean that my hormones will be out of wack .And what causes the large cyst to make you look pregant….

  12. I just found out I had a dermoid cyst. I have another Ultra sound on July 22nd. They told me I would need to have it removed before I want to have children as there is risk of me keeping the baby to term. I honestly thought the surgery wasn’t anything big. I guess I was never fully explained the whole idea. This post was very helpful! Thank You. Now I have an idea of what I will need to ask.

    1. Hello Destini! Thank you for sharing. I’m glad my post helped give you some ideas of what to ask. Best to ask everything that you are concerned about. Best of luck with your surgery and recovery. 🙂

  13. Hi! I am 21 and 3 years ago i found out i had dermoid cysts on both ovaries my gyn had scheduled my surgery right away. Everything went smooth he had to cut me open because he was afraid of them rupturing. I made a full recovery and i was very worried about being able to have children in the future. He told me i would be able to have kids and said that there was a small chance that my cysts could come back. Well its 3 years later and they are back. I just had surgery a week ago and when he cut me open he said the cysts covered my ovaries and he could not remove them because he was not confident in doing it because he knows i want children and if he would have removed them that he would have had to do a hysterectomy and he didnt want to because i dont have any children. I have an appointment to see another gyn that he refereed

    1. Sorry my phone had messed up but he refered me to another doctor and i am very nervous that they will take both of my ovaries and i wont be able to have children. I was just wondering if anyone has ever had the cysts return. Thanks for taking the time to read this and you are all very strong women! God bless!

    2. Hello Brittany.
      Sorry to hear that they dermoid’s grew back after 3 years. I’ve heard that is a risk they grow back so sorry to hear they are covering your ovaries. I hope they find a way to remove them without having to take them. Hope everything works out. Thank you for sharing your story.

  14. Thank u so much for sharing your story’s
    . I got next month to have mine removed ;( l am so scared…. How are you feeling now?

    1. Hello Dena, I am okay now. To be honest, I don’t think about it much. But I do feel self conscious when I am in a bikini. I look down and see my scars and I am reminded of what I have been through. I am thankful the dermoid is out.

  15. Hi! I was doing research on dermoid cysts, stumbled across your blog and I’m so glad I did! After a visit to an ER I was diagnosed with a 3cm dermoid on my left ovary. The ER physician stressed to me how important it was to get this checked out by an obgyn, and subsequently removed, ASAP. Well, I had my visit with my ob this morning and she recommends that we hold off on surgery. I’m going in for an ultrasound on Thursday since the CT scan in the hospital didn’t give a clear picture of the cyst itself. She said that if my cyst is truly only 3cm then she would rather monitor it and check it out again in 6 months. The OB said that right now, I run the risk of having my ovary damaged and potentially having to have my ovary removed.

    My question is this: I almost feel a little bit let down. I had myself mentally prepared for having to go under the knife for this and hearing that I don’t have to is almost a let down. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t want to be put under for an “unnecessary” surgery, but I kind of want this to be done (I was also diagnosed with a 7×3 kidney stone on the right side of my body during my ER visit.). Is it weird that I feel almost disappointed?

    1. Hello Valerie! Thanks for sharing your story. I would feel similarly to you. Nothing weird about feeling disappointed when you were anticipating an operation. If this bothers you, I would encourage you to have another visit with your OB to bring up your concerns/worries.

      1. Thank you! I almost feel a little weird wanting to deal with surgery and the aftermath!

  16. I just wanted to share that I had my dermoid removed a month ago via laparotomy due to two cysts on my left ovary (one was 6cm and the other one was 9cm) and my doctor was able to save my ovary.. there is hope!! Make sure you are always thinking positive and ask your doctor lots of questions!! From here on out I will start having an ultra sound every year so if I get another one they can catch it while it’s small – I’d much prefer laprascopically because recovery time is much quicker but he said doing a laparotomy was the only way he could save my ovary because there were two cysts and both were big and solid.

    1. I could relate to you Brit. I had dermoid cysts removed in 2008 and after 5 years, they recurred. I’m actually due for laparotomy (oh well, my 2nd time) tomorrow. My cysts are small, 0.8cm and 2.8cm but my ob suggested to have a preventive operation so as not to affect my future pregnancy/ies. I know the pain that I need to go through again but I believe God is in control. His grace will always be with me. I’m more than excited to receive the complete healing. God bless us all.

      Thanks Julian for your post as it is a big help for women who are to undergo a surgery.

      1. Hi Ivy.
        Sorry to hear you are going through it again. I can’t imagine what that must feel like. Hope you have a good recovery. Also, thanks so much for your kind words. This is definitely my most commented post.

  17. Just had my dermoid removed yesterday. It was on the left ovary and they took the whole ovary. The pain feels like someone is twisting my insides. I had it removed laproscopicly with 4 incisions in my belly and my belly button hurts the worst. I’m hopeful that tomorrow I will feel much better.

    1. Hi Kim! Hope you feel better from here on out. My belly button stitches hurt the most too. I would hug a pillow if I laughed… it would still hurt. Take it easy. 🙂

  18. First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
    I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts
    out there. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just
    seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally
    lost just trying to figure out how to begin.

    Any recommendations or hints? Thank you!

    1. Hello there!
      Well, Thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog and apologies for my terribly late response.
      To be honest, I don’t even feel like I should be answering this question because of how often I get distracted. So, if it makes you feel any better, I completely get what you’re going through. It definitely takes me a while to get settled in. I like to make sure I’m in comfortable place and if possible, that I’ve eaten already b/c when I blog I seem to forget all about meals.
      It’s been a while since I’ve published anything let alone sit down to focus on writing a post. But when I do sit down, I usually have a general idea or topic in mind, so that I have a starting point.
      When I am working on a post, I have only a few windows/tabs open to minimize distractions and I try not to check email or do anything else.
      Hope this helps you out. Most important thing is just to keep at it. 🙂

  19. I also had my cyst removed and unfortunately some damage was done to my tubes. Really awful and painful experience. I do have one question for you… you still feel pain in that area? It has been a year since I’ve had my surgery but I still feel pain where the incisions were, especially when I exercise. I just want to know that I am not crazy and someone else knows what I mean.

    1. Hi! Thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear about the damage that was done to your tubes and the painful experience.
      To be honest, I did feel soreness occasionally in my abdominal region but not on the incisions. I would just bring it up with your doctor since it’s been a year.

      1. Thanks for this amazing blog and insight your giving slides and girls an oppununity to share there experiences I regret getting I ine removed in one way I didn’t know it would be agonising 3-4 weeks afterwards now I’m miserable with it all 😦

      2. Hi Jessica!
        Thanks so much for your kind words. It really means a lot. I’m sorry to hear about how much pain you are in right now. 😦 I hope it gets better soon.

    2. I had mine removed in jan this year. i still feel a little tender every now and then exercising or at work and my scars can still be tender too specially my belly button and the scar on my bikini line.

  20. Hi! I just want to share my story. I was having back pain and my dr told me To get an I did and that’s when they told me I had a cyst on my right ovary. The dr said this was a dermoid cyst and that there was a small % chance of this being a malignant tumor. I was terrified, I didn’t know what to do I didn’t wanna get it out course I was afraid the tumor was going to be cancerous and the operation really freaked me out. They told me it pretty small so I had a hard time accepting I needed surgery. I didn’t do anything about it for 2 years! And those 2 years were horrible I always had that tumor on my mind but I just couldn’t suck it up and get it removed. One nite I had this horrible pain in my pelvic area and I ended up in the ER. I knew it was the tumor causing the pain and I knew I had waited for too long. They did an ultrasound at the hospital and it showed my tumor was now the size of an orange. This totally freaked me out more cause I knew it was way to big now and of course i knew I had waited for too long. Anyway the ER dr told me the surgery need it to be done ASAP. But I decided to wait to see my obgyn. Long story short my obgyn did a c-section and took the tumor along with my right ovary out sent it to get it test and thank God it was a benign tumor. I just want to let everyone who is in a similar position to get it out ASAP! Time is not our friend when it comes to our health. If we know something is wrong we need to take action right away. I know that the situation is scary but trusting God helped me a lot. Please pray always pray and God will listen to you. There’s no need to worry. God is so powerful and he will help you overcome this.

  21. Hi I had an ovarian dermoid cyst removed just over 3 weeks ago almost 4 I’ve bee having bad lower stomach pains, pain in my vagina and what feels like stabbing pains I couldn’t go after I had it removed keyhole surgery but where I had the drain in is now causing me a lot of pain. My cyst was only 3.5cm I in a way regret getting it removed now I had to have an in out catheter and now suffering with a UTI because of it

    Did anyone have what feels like stabbing pain in your vagina and pain all around the area where you had surgery? I’m going to call my gyn Sectectary in the morning to ask his advice because I’m really suffering now with this all

  22. omg this blog has helped me so much because im going fflor my surgery tomorrow and not sure yet which operation im having the key hole or full cut yet tilli wake up i wont know im so scared and reading this has helped me so much thankyou for writing this blog x

  23. I went to the ER a few days ago because the doctors had a feeling my appendix was in trouble, after getting tons of blood work they ordered a CT SCAN&& found a softball/grapefruit sized dermoid cyst. with TEETH. at this point I was just ridiculously happy I was allowed to go home from the ER&& my appendix has decided to remain inside of my body. well. I went home, I googled. I died a little inside. what the WHAT?! this was something id seen on goosebumps as a kid. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing?! I saw a gyn immediately, she told me I was not a candidate for keyhole? which made me totally depressed&& turn white as a ghost. this morning I found out my insurance won’t cover the procedure by this doctor. so I have to start all over again, this time instead not by the referral of the ER. meanwhile the anticipation is KILLING ME. I’m scared to cough, sneeze, bend the wrong way. the next thing I know, MY PERIOD HAS STARTED. I’m cramping so much I’m so nervous to even bend or tense my muscles to get out of bed. I’m scared the heating pad will make it burst?! does anyone have any advice to soothe the “bursting my own bubble” phobia I’ve seemed to slump into? thanks! && if anyone needs to talk/vent. I’m here for you.

    1. Hi Corilyn. I’m so sorry to hear about your procedure not being covered as well as how you came to find out about your dermoid. I felt just as scared as you when I found out about it. I didn’t know quite how to act and whether I needed to change my lifestyle. When I learned about my dermoid, I told everyone that was close to me as well as my best friend who travelled with me, so if anything were to happen, at least she would know what it was in case I was in no condition to speak. I didn’t make any lifestyle changes when I was waiting for surgery, I just wanted the thing out of me asap. Good luck to you and thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

  24. Thanks for your story… I am conditioning myself for an operation too…my dermoid cyst according to the obygyne is almost 8cm…This is my first ever hospital admission nor operation….Godbless

  25. Hi there. I came across this post through ‘googling’ dermoid ovarian cysts. I’m soooo glad I did, though! My surgery is in two weeks and I’m super nervous!! I’ve never had surgery before so that only doubles my anxiety. My cyst is 17cm! I’ve had a CT Scan and endless tests done. At my last appointment, my oncologist told me about a second one they found on my other ovary. My husband and I have been TTC for two years so I’m nervous about the amount (if any) of ovary they’re likely to save. I’m just glad we found what could be giving us so much trouble. Doctors won’t confirm or deny my speculations, but…come on! I have a very tiny frame, too, so I know it’s not exactly roomy in there.

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience. I found it very comforting to know I’m not alone. Plus, I’m the type of person who is put at ease by information, even in the worst case scenarios!

    1. Hi inkydancer.
      Thank you for taking the time to share your story as well.
      I’m the same way. I feel better when I know exactly what is about to happen. I hope you had a good recovery.

  26. I’m post op day #7 after a cyst removal and removal of my ovary and Fallopian tube on the right side also. I’m curious where u are activity wise. Are you pretty much back to normal like 100%?

  27. I just found out today I need surgery for this (I have a cyst on each ovary) and I was alone for my appointment (bad idea) and probably didn’t ask enough questions about the surgery and recovery because I was in shock. So as soon as I got home, I headed to this internet and found your account really helpful; I feel way more prepared now. Now I just have to wait 6-9 months for the surgery, but hey, at least I’m Canadian and my Medicare covers it.

    Thank you for sharing your story 🙂

    1. Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share that you read my post before you operation. I hope it brought some comfort to you. I am sorry for the delayed response. I feel fine now. How are you doing?

  28. I just wentin for my annual exam and while she was doing a pelvic exam she felt what she thought was a fibroid. I was able to get a ultasound and she saw a dermoid cyst size of a golf ball on my left ovary. I had a blood test performed called a Ca125 test. Then I go back in two weeks. I just had surgery 2 years ago to remove fibroids that were causing severe bleeding. I hope my back pain goes away.

  29. Hi Julianna

    How many incisions did you end up getting? and when you woke from the general anesthetic did you feel pain straight away or you didnt feel anything at all till you got home?

    1. Hi Di! The surgeon tried their best to minimize scarring I had 3 in total (one from my belly button).
      I remember not feeling anything at first just felt like I woke up from a very long sleep. Didn’t feel pain until I threw up at hospital and yes worsened when I got home.

  30. Hey, thank you for your post.

    I’m having my surgery in 3 1/2 weeks from now and I am nervous. I tried not to look up anything about my dermoid/teratoma cyst/tumor because I am a bit of a worrier and thought I would just worry more, but reading your post and researching really is easing my nerves. I just wanted to know what type of surgery did you end up having? Laparoscopy or laparotomy? And sorry to ask but, did you have any bowel issues… Like with #2, while you had the cyst and or after the surgery?

    Thanks in advance! And thanks again for your story.

  31. Hi Julliana, thank you for sharing your story and replying to other ladies questions. I had a surgery yesterday on my left overy there were 2 dermoid cyst wich had them removed. I am in a lot of pain and discomfort. I hebe no problem walking around but cannot sit on a chaire at all as it hearts so much.
    The biggest problem I have is the gass. My belly is bigger than usual and so hard because of gass. How long will it take for gass to come out? Did it take you few days to get out of your belly? This is very discomfortable for me.
    Other question my doctore didn’t give me any antibiotics accept for a pain killer. Did you take them?
    Also my hole body ( face, hands, feet … ) is swollen. Did you experience that too?
    Thanks again

    1. Hi Hannah! Sorry for the late reply. I do remember that the feeling of trapped gas but it just took time for it to come out. I don’t remember how long but probably a week or so. I i don’t remember the swelling either as it’s been some time now.

      Hope you are all recovered now.

  32. hi , thank you for you story,
    i had the same surgery two weeks ago, i am recovering now. one question, did you have any skin issues before or after the surgery ? like hyper pigmentation ?


  33. I am aware it was a while since the last post but I just wanted to say thank you for everyone for sharing their experiences. I have a dermoid cyst and due to go in for my op next week. I am started to really struggle now and was wondering if I was making it up. My tummy consistently feels bloated and on occasions I get stabbing pains and backache. Also get full quickly and need to go to the toilet frequently.

    My question is the dermoid cyst was found in September 2015 and it is now November. I cant remember how big the cyst was then. I remember the doc saying it was a size of an orange. But I was wondering can it continue to grow. I am not sure if this is the reason my tummy feels so swollen?

    One of my other questions was to ask how long the recovery time for key hole (fingers crossed)? Most if you have already asked this question thank you xx

    Thank you xx

    1. Hi Kaye! Thanks for commenting. I’m not sure if there’s a connection with the cyst and your swollen tummy.
      Recovery times vary I remember worrying about that myself. Hope you are all better now!

    1. Actually I declined after surgery… I am now being told that I have bilateral nerve damage and pelvic floor dysfunction. I wish I would have keep the teratoma tumors instead of going through my current hell

  34. Hi there, just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. Though it is a scary thing to go through, it helps to hear I’m not the only one. I was told I have a 11.5 x 8cm dermoid cyst in my right ovary only a few days ago — and have been in a panic from the news. Like you I had no idea what this thing in me was, once I heard the word tumour my world went spinning. Besides being a avid worrier I also have a major phobia of vomiting (odd, I know) so I’m wondering if there is any way I can avoid the post-op throw-up you mentioned. I’m assuming it was from the anaesthetics? Maybe I can be prescribed some anti-nausea meds for the surgery. Also, how long after they found the cyst did you have to wait until surgery? Glad you are fully healed.

  35. Thank you so much for writing all this out. I found out Thursday I had one. I haven’t even gotten in to see the doctor to schedule the appt or even know how big or how many there are in there. I’ve had so many questions I’m dying to have answered at my appointment on Wednesday. I’ve had pain since February, an Ultrasound in April showed nothing. CT scan last week surprised everyone. most of my questions have been about recovery time, and you answered them beautifully. Thank you thank you!

      1. Thank you! I actually had my surgery today! I’m hella sore but to tell you the truth it’s nothing compared to the pain I was in before. again thanks for writing this. It helped me stay calm about this whole thing.

  36. Hi, thanks for sharing your story! Sadly I’m only reading this after my keyhole surgery to remove a 4.5cm dermoid cyst in my right ovary. I was advised go for laparascopy to find out what is causing my menses to appear “stuck” and my right ovary to be shifted over to the left and happily staying there. Fortunately nothing was making it stick the left, probably it was just the weight of the cyst. Now that I’m almost 4 months post op, my menses are still irregular. For the first time, I’m having prolonged menses and it’s my 25th day today. Has anyone been through similar experiences? Is this normal post op? Would very much appreciate it if someone ha’s by possible answers and experiences to share.

  37. Thank you for posting this. I’ll be undergoing the same procedure 3 days from now. This is extremely helpful to prepare me for it. I’m super scared but knowing that somebody survived this operation gives me an assurance that I too can get pass this

  38. Your post is quite comforting as I am going to have the surgery for the same, soon. Thank you for making out the time and putting effort for writing down such a detailed note on your surgical experiences.

  39. Thank you for posting this. It is incredibly helpful. I will be going through this in a short while. I appreciate your thoughts, it definitely makes me feel better to know someone else has been through this. I am concerned about the pain following surgery since I cannot take any type of pain medications due to other digestive problems. That part I’m not sure at all what to do about it. But thank you for sharing.

  40. Thank you for sharing. The doctor just found a dermoid cyst on my right ovary. Your story is really helping me mentally prepare for what is coming. Thanks again.

  41. Thank You. I was just diagnosed and will be seeing a surgeon soon. I have never had a surgery, not even dental, and I’m a bit anxious about all involved. I have been all over Google tonight and I then came upon your site and found it to be informative and helpful. Eased my mind a bit. Thank you for sharing. I hope you are doing wonderful.
    Bless You,
    Patti McCool

  42. Thank you so much julianna for sharing your experience with us, this was really helpful to me, I’ve done a surgery two weeks ago to remove a dermoid cyst on my ovary, it was pretty big (15 cm, 11 cm).
    I am facing some difficulties with movement or stretching now so I guess i need more time.

  43. Thank you for posting this; I have scheduled a surgery date for my dermoid and, like you, want to read as much about recovery as possible so I can know more going into it. It’s a little scary how quickly I went from not knowing it existed to having to undergo surgery! I really do take comfort in your words.

  44. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am 34 and on Monday I am going I. For my presurgical consult for having my right ovary ( which has a large dermoid teratoma) and my uterus ( which has fibroids) removed. I am scared and it is just a relief being able to hear someone else’s experience.

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