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Should I have a hysterectomy while having an ovary removed because of cysts?

Hello - I am 44, have two children, am relatively healthy (if slightly overweight). I had my fallopian tubes removed (one was inflamed without a clear reason) and a uterine ablation about 6 months ago, so I already am infertile. I now have two cysts on one of my ovaries, which are causing pain and look slightly suspicious. Though the ultrasound isn't too worrisome, my Ova1 test indicates a cancer possibility. The oncologist is "90% hopeful" that only one ovary will need to be removed, with the understanding that a frozen section biopsy of that ovary may lead to the removal of the other ovary and more invasive surgery for cancer staging.

My question: Thoughts on/experiences with a hysterectomy for a similar situation? I told the doc that it was fine, but I'm having second thoughts. He seemed somewhat ambivalent; though he recommended removing my uterus, he said it was my choice. He said that some women like to retain their overused for "support." If cancer is indicated, he will remove the uterus anyhow.
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Avatar universal
I know it's been a couple years, but I'm in a similar situation and wondering what you ended up deciding to do?
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Hello - I chose to go with just the single ovary removal (May 2021), and, thankfully, the frozen section biopsy was benign, so nothing further needed to be removed. (It was nerve-wracking, not knowing if it was "minor" or major surgery until I awoke after surgery.) My oncologist didn't make any negative comments about my choice, for which I was thankful. Recovery was not as smooth as I'd hoped, however, and I strongly recommend taking the high end of your doctor's recommended recovery time, which I plan to do in future (10-14 days? Take the 14!).

My oncologist did tell me that I have endometriosis at my post-op appointment, but it was more of a "Has anyone ever told you that you have endo? Because you have endo."

I had a pap smear in March 2022, and it was (relatively) normal. I now have very occasional minor pain and very very occasional light bleeding, but nothing like the issues I had before the ovary removal or, prior, the tube removal. I just wish that I had been diagnosed with endo years ago, instead of dealing with extremely heavy periods, severe cramping, spotting, etc., for decades, thinking it was normal.

I keep meaning to schedule my annual exam--I'll let your question be my prompt to call this week and schedule! Best wishes to you!
Thanks so much for your response! Glad to hear your biopsy was benign, and that my post reminded you to schedule your annual exam. Take care! :)
This is great information! Thank you
Avatar universal
I am sorry you are dealing with this. The uterus and ovaries have lifelong functions. You don't want any parts removed if it isn't necessary.

According to this website https://www.aacc.org/cln/articles/2013/march/ovarian-cancer, the positive predictive value (odds of you having a disease if you have a positive result) of the Ova1 test is only 40% so chances are greater that the cyst is benign and that's all you would need removed (cystectomy).

Unfortunately, unnecessary female organ removal is far too common leaving women harmed by the many medically documented adverse effects and increased health risks. I know from personal experience of having my organs removed for a benign ovarian cystadenoma.
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