countdown 9: day 1 in the hospital

Day 1 in the Hospital

August 14, 2011

Before 6 pm today, I got admitted at St. Luke's Hospital for my laparoscopy tomorrow. It felt more like going to a hotel for a vacation rather than a hospital. I did not feel nervous at all. I believe I can tolerate anything that is less painful than a facial pricking. And maybe, giving birth two years ago gave me a courage I never had. Plus, after only one session with the doctor, I somehow knew that she will do a good job. She seemed a very competent doctor with a pleasing genuine personality (not the superficial joviality typical of someone who is selling something). I can not say the same of my regular obi-gynecologist.

Let me share the things I've learned in the course of the week since I found out that I had a dermoid cyst in my right ovary. The procedure that they will perform on me is called: laparascopic oophorocystectomy with possible laparotomy. We were given a choice by the doctor between laparoscopy and laparotomy. We chose the former because it's minimally invasive surgery and the recovery is faster although it is pricey. Laparotomy is akin to giving birth via caesarean section.

A dermoid cyst or ovarian teratoma is a bizarre tumor that contains a diversity of tissues including hair, teeth, bone, thyroid, etc. It develops from a primary oocyte that is retained in the ovary. There is no logical explanation why or how it develops into a cyst which has recognizable structures such as hair, bone, sebaceous material, natural tissue and teeth. Mine has balls of hair and sebum.

The prime of detection of such condition is during the childbearing years with average age of 30. The doctor said I have a 10 to 25% chance of developing the same ovarian cyst in my left ovary. For early detection, the doctor ordered me to have a transvaginal ultrasound at least once a year.

I really had no choice but to have the cyst removed via surgery because it could rupture and cause internal poisoning or twist my ovary (torsion).

I was not aware I had an ovarian cyst until I had an ultrasound of the whole abdomen which detected an ovarian mass. I was then asked by my ob to go for transvaginal ultrasound, which confirmed I had a dermoid cyst. That was Sunday, August 7th.

On August 9th, I went to my ob to discuss the result of my ultrasound and she advised a laparotomy. Fortunately, she was not an accredited doctor under my HMO cards so we had to look for another doctor, preferably from St. Luke's which is near our home. My husband did find one and on August 10th, early in the morning, we went to consult with the doctor. She was late for more than an hour but I'm glad we persisted.

She explained everything to us, from the diagnosis to the procedure to the risks and price involved. After hearing the options from her, we decided to go for a laparoscopy.

We agreed to have the surgery on August 15th which happened to be the assumption of Mama Mary and the birthday of the doctor. I took that as a good omen that things will go just fine.


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