Yesterday I came across this link on Reddit:
TIL the longest surgery to date was a 96-hour marathon to remove a 300-lb ovarian cyst from a 600-lb woman. Simply hacking it out would have killed her, so the surgeon gradually drained fluid from the cyst over the course of 4 days, shrinking it to 100 lb. and allowing for a successful removal.
I noticed a number of questions about large cysts in the comments and while I can’t claim to know how this woman felt, I thought I could answer these questions from my own experience of having an ovarian cyst. My cyst was also only 15lbs so while it was extremely large in comparison to most cysts, it was nothing compared to this lady’s.
How did it get that big?
I am overweight. I have been for most of my life. I’ve been working on it but its taking time. I’ve also never really had regular periods. This makes it extremely difficult to tell if I have a problem with my periods because they have never been normal. It also makes it difficult to determine when the cyst first began growing. I have a feeling that it was at least 4 years ago (remember I had the cyst taken out over a year ago).
I was fat, there is no nice way of saying it. I was fat all over. While it would be extremely easy for a thin person to see that their stomach was growing larger, its not so easy if you already have a large stomach. It was only when I started to lose weight that I noticed there was a problem. I was losing weight everywhere except my stomach. It got to the point where people started asking if I was pregnant (tip: if you see someone and think they are pregnant, don’t ask, don’t even mention it).
There was also the fact that I was in denial about there being a problem. I knew something was wrong but didn’t want to admit it. Because I knew it would not be good whatever it was. It also didn’t help that the first time I went to see a doctor about it they assumed I was just fat and all my problems were being caused by me being fat. I am now almost certain that what I was experiencing was ovarian torsion which is very very not good.
Didn’t it hurt?
Not really. But when it did start to hurt it really really fucking hurt. Looking back now I will admit that I was having stomach pains for years. But they were never anything more than a mild pain. You wouldn’t go to the doctor every time you have a stomach ache. You never think that it could be something serious. Ovarian cysts on their own don’t cause pain. If they twist it can be extremely painful but normally they are painless.
How did it feel after surgery?
The actual statement was “Holy shit, that woman must have felt AMAZING shortly after her surgery.” but I turned it into a question. Either way no it was not amazing. It was the total opposite of amazing. After coming out of surgery I was on so many pain killers and antibiotics that it took me 18 hours (no joke) to realise that I couldn’t feel my legs (turns out I could feel my legs they just felt extra heavy from the compression devices on them).
I went from not being able to feel my legs to being in large amounts of pain. I couldn’t cough, sneeze or laugh. I needed help just walking to the toilet, getting dressed wasn’t fun. For 5 days after the surgery I threw up almost everything I ate. Adding that to the 3 days before surgery, I didn’t eat properly for over a week. In two weeks I lost 50lbs. I went from 224 to just over 180. As a way of losing weight it was horrible. Like 0/10. Would not recommend. It took me over 3 months to get better. The CFS really didn’t help, it is now a year and a half later and I still don’t have as much energy as I did before surgery.
If you want to read more about my experience check out My Ovarian Cyst Story.
The one thing I’ve learned from all this is if you’re having lady problems get it checked out. It might be nothing or it might be your ovaries growing a little present. It might even be something else. Either way get it checked. If you have any more questions feel free to ask in the comments. Just remember that I am not a doctor and will probably give you terrible medical advice like “tea can fix a broken leg“.