Dermoid cysts are sac like growths found in or on the skin containing structures like hair, teeth, fluid etc. They may be present the time of birth itself. Dermoid cysts can be found on different parts of the body and are known by different names. Dermoid cysts containing different types of cells like skin, teeth, hair etc are referred by the medical term teratoma. They generally occur inside the skull, on the face, in the ovaries, on the lower back etc. Dermoid cysts found in ovaries are known as mature teratoma.
Dermoid cysts may exist in one of the ovaries or may be present in both the ovaries. These cysts may be small about 1 inch in size or may be large filling the entire abdomen. These cysts are usually found in young adult woman.
Dermoid cysts generally show no symptoms. But if the cysts grow in size, it may lead to encroachment of the neighboring structures leading to symptoms like abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding. If the cyst grows larger in size it may lead to ovarian twist resulting in problems in blood supply to the ovaries, abnormal bleeding and pain. Vomiting, gain in weight, pain during sexual intercourse etc are the normal symptoms of ovarian dermoid cysts.
Diagnosis and treatment
Studying the symptoms experienced along with medical history and physical examination will lead to preliminary diagnosis. Some patients do not show any symptom at all. Ultra sound scan will be conducted to finalize the preliminary diagnosis and to determine the size and location of the cyst. A small percentage of the dermoid cysts can be cancerous. Surgical removal of the cyst will be the only option left in such cases.
By following the treatment plans suggested by the doctor many potential complications connected with dermoid cysts can be averted. Complications include:
Dermoid cyst can be cancerous.
Rupture of the cyst can lead to abdominal hemorrhage.
Ovarian torsion resulting in blockage of blood supply to ovaries.
Treatment options for some important types of dermoid cysts are explained below.
Dermoid cysts in brain: Dermoid cysts are very rarely seen in brain. A neurosurgeon will be able to remove these cysts through a surgical procedure.
Dermoid cysts in sinuses: Dermoid cysts in nasal sinuses are also a very rare possibility.
Very complicated surgical procedures are needed to remove dermoid cysts in the nasal sinuses.
Dermoid cysts in ovaries: These are cysts grown in the reproductive years of a woman which can lead to infection, torsion, rupture and caner.
Dermoid cysts of the spinal cord: A sinus tract which is a very narrow passage from such cyst to the skin connects these cysts to the surface of the skin. These cysts easily get infected. Even though the removal of such cysts requires tedious procedures, they have often produced very successful results.