What are Paratubal Cysts?
Paratubal Cyst is a medical condition where there is development of a cyst or a fluid filled mass in the adnexa of the uterus. Adnexa are the appendages, which are related to the uterus functionally as well as structurally; e.g. ovaries, fallopian tubes, supporting ligaments etc. In majority of the cases, the paratubal cysts are simple paratubal cysts, i.e. they develop as a single cyst. Rarely, there can be development of multiple cysts in the same area. There is a less likelihood for paratubal cysts to become cancerous.
How & Why do the Paratubal Cysts Develop?
According to studies, it is thought that paratubal cysts develop from the remnants of the Wolffian duct, which is an embryonic structure responsible for formation of male reproductive organs. Early in gestation period, all the fetuses, irrespective of the sex, have Wolffian ducts. These ducts in female embryos gradually shrink and female reproductive organs are formed in its place. However, pieces of Wolffian duct can remain in some female babies and result in formation of paratubal cysts.
What are the Symptoms of Paratubal Cysts?
Most of the women having paratubal cysts do not experience any symptoms and are often not aware of their existence. However, if the patient has large paratubal cysts, then the commonest symptom which the patient experiences is pelvic pain.
What are the Complications of Paratubal Cysts?
Paratubal cysts are benign in nature and they are not likely to become malignant or cancerous. However, paratubal cysts should not be ignored and treatment should be started even if there are no symptoms. Some of the complications from paratubal cysts can cause pain and can be detrimental to a woman's reproductive health and fertility. These complications include: Hemorrhaging (bleeding), ovarian torsion and rupture of the fallopian tube.
How are the Paratubal Cysts Diagnosed?
Imaging tests, such as pelvic ultrasound and MRI scan help in diagnosis of paratubal cysts. Blood tests can also be done to rule out cancerous cysts. In difficult cases, a diagnostic laparoscopy or biopsy can be done.
How are the Paratubal Cysts Treated?
Treatment of Paratubal Cysts depends on the following factors:
Patient's Age: If the patient is in her reproductive years and has small paratubal cysts, then the doctor will only observe them without starting any treatment. If the patient has undergone menopause, then aggressive treatment is done irrespective of the size of the cyst.
Size of the Paratubal Cyst: If the paratubal cyst is small in size, then the chances are that it will resolve on its own. However, if the paratubal cysts are greater than 7 cm, then they need to be removed surgically.
Treatment for Paratubal Cysts Consists of:
Birth Control Pills: These will help in preventing the growth of the cysts and relieving the pelvic pain experienced from the Paratubal Cysts.
Laparoscopy: Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure where tiny camera is inserted through a small abdominal incision via a scope, which helps the doctor to remove the paratubal cysts.
Other Surgeries: Rarely, oophorectomy or salpingectomy needs to be done to remove the affected ovary or the fallopian tube in order to treat or prevent complications.
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