Due to its size, Dr. Erik Hanson and Dr. Abel Jalife removed the tumour whole fearing that draining the cyst could put the patient’s life at risk. Up to 20% of giant ovarian cysts are malignant, meaning that if the cyst was pierced it risked leaking tumorous cells into the patient’s body.
‘Draining beforehand can be dangerous, if any of the fluid spilled it risked contaminating the patient’s abdominal wall and spreading tumour cells,’ he added.
‘But to remove it whole is also difficult because the cyst wall is less than one millimetre thin and needs to be prevented from drying out, otherwise it could easily break too.’
‘There’s no real consensus in the medical community about which is the best technique to operate on giant cysts.’
The patient chose to take out the ovarian cyst completely rather than draining it first, despite knowing she would be left with a lengthy scar.