Children's Hospital Colorado

Diagnosis and Treatment of Ovarian Cysts (S2:E19)

Ovarian cysts frequently occur in both children and adolescents. Some present with acute onset pain and are relatively simple to diagnose. Other physiological cysts develop gradually. These slowly growing masses can be asymptomatic, and the child's first complaint may be that their pants are fitting tighter.

Listen to our adolescent gynecology expert discuss the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cysts

In today's podcast episode, Patricia Huguelet, MD, joins us to discuss how pediatricians can most effectively diagnose and treat ovarian cysts. Dr. Huguelet is the Chief of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology at Children's Hospital Colorado.

As Dr. Huguelet explains, young patients regularly visit their doctor with many different types of abdominal pain. Primary care providers must discern whether the cause is ovarian cysts or another condition, determine when to order an ultrasound and assess whether cysts are benign or malignant.

In this episode, we explore:

  • The most common presentations and symptoms of ovarian cysts reported to a primary care provider.
  • Why many ovarian cysts can be asymptomatic.
  • Differentiating between other abdominal pain versus ovarian cyst pain.
  • How to determine whether ovarian cysts are benign or malignant and the different in symptoms.
  • Three mechanisms of ovarian pain: ischemia from torsion, acute rupture and hemorrhage, and rapid capsular stretch.
  • The optimal modality for ovarian cyst imaging diagnosis.
  • The type of symptoms and pain that would make an ovarian torsion diagnosis more likely.
  • When ovarian torsion might occur without the presence of a cyst or mass.
  • Why it is always better to preserve the ovary after torsion.
  • The fertility outlook for women who have had ovarian torsion.
  • The best treatment course for a hemorrhagic cyst, including when the goal is to preserve fertility.
  • Which laboratory tests to consider when diagnosing ovarian cysts and torsion.
  • Recommended outpatient follow-up care for patients after treatment and diagnosis for ovarian cysts or torsion.
  • The likelihood of recurrence of ovarian cysts and risk for torsion.
  • The role of nonsteroidal use in ovarian cyst pain control.

Pediatric ovarian cyst treatment and management at Children's Colorado

Children and young adults with ovarian cysts, including ovarian torsion, are treated by our Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Department. Our gynecologists and surgeons offer a wide range of services, surgical and nonsurgical, for the diagnosis, treatment and management of pediatric ovarian cysts. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.