​Ovarian Cysts and Neoplasms

Ovarian cysts and neoplasms occur in children, young girls and adolescents, whereby masses develop in and around the ovaries, which are female reproductive organs. Masses such as tumours (solid mass of tissue also known as neoplasms) or cysts (fluid-filled sacs) may appear in one or both ovaries and they may appear individually or in clusters. 

In most cases, ovarian cysts do not cause any problems and go away on their own as the child grows older. In cases of ovarian tumours, most of these are benign (non-cancerous). Although ovarian cysts and neoplasms are rare in children, they have to be diagnosed and treated in time to prevent worsening of the disorder as a young girl grows older. There is no definite cause of ovarian cysts in young children and infants, while in young girls close to the age of puberty; small cysts may appear due to hormonal changes that the body may be going through.

Depending on the severity of the disorder, a child may not show any symptoms of having ovarian cysts. However, in some cases, the following signs and symptoms may be noticed:

  • Swelling in the lower abdomen

  • A feeling of fullness in the abdomen

  • Frequent urination

  • Frequent abdominal pain

  • Nausea and vomiting

In some cases, the presence of ovarian cysts may trigger the release of female hormone, oestrogen, at a young age, leading to vaginal discharge or bleeding, breast enlargement or the appearance of pubic hair at an early age.​

Persistent abdominal pain must not be ignored and should be evaluated by your daughter’s paediatrician working with the Children’s Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital. Any growth in your daughter’s ovary must be assessed to check if it’s cancerous or not. While cancerous tumours require immediate treatment, benign cysts may not be serious, but may cause complications, such as causing the ovary to twist on its root, blocking its blood supply, and therefore must be treated promptly as well.
Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

An accurate diagnosis is important for correctly treating your daughter’s ovarian cysts. Your daughter’s paediatrician working with the Children’s Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital will ask questions to prepare a medical history, which will include details of signs and symptoms exhibited. A physical examination may also be conducted to check for any pain and tenderness in the abdominal area.

Other diagnostic tests include:

  • A pelvic ultrasound to observe your daughter’s ovaries and uterus

  • A laparoscopy using a thin, lighted tube put through an incision in the belly to look at the abdominal organs, especially the ovaries

  • Imaging tests such as the CT (Computerize Tomography) scan

  • Urine and blood tests to check for certain hormone levels

  • Biopsy of a small portion of a tumour to check if it is cancerous or not

In case an ovarian cyst does not cause any symptom, it may not even be noticed and will go away on its own. ​​

Most cases of ovarian cysts and neoplasms in children cure on their own. However, in case they do not go away on their own, the following treatment options may be suggested:

  • Draining of benign ovarian neoplasm

  • Surgical removal of benign neoplasms or tumours or of cysts

  • In case a neoplasm (tumour) is cancerous, surgical removal of the tumour and of involved organs may become necessary

  • Chemotherapy or radiation therapy to kill cancer cells in cases of cancerous tumours

Talk with your doctor at The Aga Khan University Hospital about any treatment option before you try it to find out how useful it might be.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

​​The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.