If a woman is of reproductive age some ovarian masses may be functional cysts (related to hormonal changes) and these may reach up to 5-6 cm diameter.An ultrasound examination (vaginal scans give better information than the abdominal scans) may identify the characteristics of a pelvic mass. One of the most common pelvic masses is an enlarged uterus with multiple fibroids that may give problems of pain, pressure and heavy periods.
Ovarian masses may represent a serious problem. If a complex cyst (solid and fluid component) is shown in a scan, then it is more likely that it is a pathological one rather than a functional one. Serum tests like CA 125 help to diagnose pathological cysts especially cancerous ovarian cysts (although this test is by no means specific, it is more reliable after the menopause).
An ovarian cyst of any size should be investigated if a patient is postmenopausal, as in these cases the risk of cancer is higher.
Operative laparoscopy is important for the surgical management of pelvic masses. If there is the strong suspicious or confirmation of pelvic malignancy especially ovarian, then a laparotomy (open surgery) may be advisable.Photos
WARNING: Contains intra-operative and/or graphic images.
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