Have you recently had abdominal or pelvic pains and a gynecology evaluation found an ovarian cyst as the cause? Did a physician find a “dermoid cyst” (also called a “teratoma cyst” or tumor) next to your ovary and recommended surgically removal soon before it ruptures, twists, or causes infection? Is a surgery scheduled to remove the cyst? If the answer is “yes” to one these questions, take immediate action to protect yourself from a serious injury during surgery. Get answers from the physician on the precautions that will be taken during surgery to prevent a rupture or spill inside you of the dermoid cyst contents, and unequivocal promises to protect you from any leak or spill. If you don’t take action, a dermoid spill during surgery may cause severe chemical burns and destroy your ability to have children.
A dermoid cyst is a rare growth from germ cells, and usually is not cancer. The cysts are diagnosed most often in young women between 20 and 30 years old. The cyst capsules contain a caustic, snot-like goo called sebum: the same oily or waxy matter that lubricates and waterproofs human hair follicles. The capsules often also contain hair clumps, teeth, bone, fat, finger nails, eyeballs, or other disturbing human material. The term “teratoma” comes from the Greek word “teraton,” meaning “monster.”
Material in a dermoid cyst can irritate and chemically burn tissues and organs in the abdomen or pelvis, called chemical peritonitis. Like other chemical burn, the process can permanently injure, disfigure, and scar a woman’s insides. Severe burns can destroy tissue and dying matter can cause internal infection or sepsis. Chemical burns to reproductive organs can even deprive a woman of every child she could ever have.
Though rare, some dermoid cysts contain cancer cells. If the cancer gets outside the capsule, it can grow and spread to other areas of the body, causing serious injury or death.
Because material inside of a dermoid cyst irritates and chemically burns, the cyst must be removed whole, intact, and without spillage. Gynecologists are warned not to break open or rupture a dermoid cyst inside a patient’s abdomen, and to take safety precautions such as an impermeable surgical retrieval bag to encapsulate and contain any cyst leak. If a spill occurs, the physician must immediately suction out all dermoid material and vigorously clean the area until all is gone. For patient safety, when a spill accidentally occurs the physician must adhere to the rule: “The solution to pollution is dilution” by immediate, vigorous, and complete cleanup.
Unfortunately, some physicians are not careful removing a dermoid cyst. They get careless or cut corners on patient safety, because they forgot the real dangers of dermoid spills or they focus on cramming more surgeries into a day to maximize profits. Reckless physician conduct injures blameless women.
Before your surgery, tell the physician you want the dermoid cyst removed whole, intact, and with no spill. Insist the physician take precautions to prevent any rupture or spill, and be ready to immediately extract and clean any dermoid leak. Demanding safety before a dermoid removal surgery may just save your life and save the lives of children you want to have in the future.
Contact a Michigan medical malpractice attorney if you have additional questions.