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Most girls are born with two ovaries — one on either side of the uterus. Occasionally, young girls will develop cysts on the ovaries. Most cysts are small, benign, fluid-filled sacs and will go away without surgery. Others may become troublesome and cause pain or other symptoms.
While most cysts go away on their own, some more persistent cysts can twist, which is called torsion. When this occurs, blood is trapped and stopped from entering the ovary. Girls will have intense abdominal pain, nausea and may sometimes pass out. When this occurs, a surgeon removes the cyst using laparoscopic surgery while leaving the rest of the ovary in place.
Using a tiny camera-guided scope, the pediatric surgeon will make a small incision close to the navel. Carbon dioxide gas is normally pumped into the abdomen, so that the organs can be seen more easily and are more accessible. Two or three additional slits are created so that slim instruments can pass through and remove the cyst.
Strenuous activity or heavy-lifting should be avoided for the first 10 to 14 days after surgery. Most girls are fully recuperated within 2 to 3 weeks of surgery.
Read a study about the surgical management of neonatal ovarian cysts, co-author by Dr. Duncan Phillips
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