Dr. Joon Song’s 4 Treatment Options for Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts are solid or fluid-filled sacs that form in the ovary, usually during ovulation. Ovarian cysts normally show no indications and are common among women in the reproductive years or after the menopausal stage. In most cases, ovarian cysts are benign, painless and are not a cause for concern. Nevertheless, there are cysts that grow over time and are accompanied by other symptoms.
According to Dr. Joon Song, a New York City-based obstetrician-gynecologist and robotic surgery expert of 30 years, there are various tests that will help diagnose if a patient has an ovarian cyst. These include pregnancy tests, pelvic ultrasounds, and laparoscopy.
If a patient is found to have an ovarian cyst, Dr. Joon Song recommends several treatment options that one can undertake and outlines four of them below.
- Watchful waiting
Since most cases of ovarian cysts are benign and therefore harmless, patients can simply wait it out and have follow-up pelvic ultrasounds to determine if the cyst grows or completely disappears. Some cysts naturally go away in a few months even without treatment. With the watchful waiting treatment, doctors may additionally recommend birth control pills as a preventive measure to keep cysts from recurring.
- Laparoscopy-assisted Ovarian Cystectomy
Designed for the removal of small, benign cysts, a laparoscopy-assisted ovarian cystectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove cysts without removing the ovary.
Small incisions are made near the navel, where the laparoscope is inserted. A laparoscope is a long, thin instrument equipped with small light and a high-resolution video camera which allows the doctor to see images from inside the body and obtain biopsy samples. Through laparoscopy, the doctor is guided in navigating surgical instruments throughout the operation.
Laparoscopic surgery offers faster recovery time than open surgery and many patients can resume daily routine activities after the operation. Dr. Joon Song notes that despite being able to return to daily routine, recovery time takes about 2–3 weeks. Due to the 2–3 recovery time, strenuous activities such as intense exercises and lifting heavy weights must be avoided until the healing process is complete.
Larger ovarian cysts, especially if at risk for cancer, can be removed through laparotomy.
Compared to laparoscopic surgery which involves small incisions, a laparotomy creates a larger incision to give the doctor a better access to the lower abdomen area. Once the cyst is located, it is tested immediately to determine if it’s cancerous or not. If the results are negative for cancer, the cyst is removed while the ovaries stay intact. Otherwise, a cancerous cysts will be removed with one or both ovaries.
After the surgery, the patient may be required to stay for 2–4 days at the hospital and recovery time is about 6–8 weeks. Dr. Joon Song states that laparotomy is the more traditional way of removing cysts; however, it does pose increased risks for complications during the procedure and recovery process.
- Gynecological Robotic Surgery
With the staggering technological advancements in the medical industry, state-of-the-art robotic surgery is now available to treat a multitude of gynecological problems, including ovarian cysts.
According to Dr. Joon Song, the process involves the robotic assistance of four small robotic arms which make accurate and consistent incisions. While human hands may be fatigued and have uneven control throughout an operation, a robotic aid provides precise and efficient movements for desirable results. Furthermore, robotic surgery provides additional manpower which can handle the workload of usually two to three people.
The entire robotic system is operated by a surgeon through a console, allowing them to fully control every single subtle movement. A full 3D high-definition visual of the surgical field is also provided by the system to ensure accurate navigation. With the complexity of this robotic-assisted operation, a highly skilled surgeon is absolutely essential. Dr. Joon Song highly recommends that patients carefully consider a surgeon’s background and previous experience to know their qualifications prior to proceeding with a robotically assisted surgery.
Through the combined power of the robotic system and the surgeon’s expertise, a faster, safer, and minimally invasive operation is assured for highly successful results.
Dr. Joon Song — Top Gynecological Robotic Surgeon
Dr. Joon Song is a top surgeon in minimally invasive robotic surgery. Based in New York at the NY Robotic Gynecology & Women’s Health Center, Dr. Song is CSATS-certified and recognized as a top robotic myomectomy surgeon with over 3,000 robotic-assisted and laparoscopic procedures performed. Dr. Song is affiliated with multiple hospitals and medical environments that allow him access to the latest state-of-the-art medical equipment. He is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is the recipient of the President Award from the Society for Gynecology Investigation.