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Trends and outcomes of ruptured ovarian cysts


Background Ruptured ovarian cysts are common gynaecological presentation to health institutions with abdominal pain. While this phenomenon is generally self-limiting, surgery may be necessary in cases of haemodynamic compromise or association with torsion. The aim of this audit is to identify the trend of hospital presentations, as well as the review the management of modern gynaecology practice.

Methods A retrospective audit of all women who presented to the emergency department with an imaging diagnosis of ruptured ovarian cysts was conducted over a 5-year period at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.

Results During the study period, 408 women were identified. There was a trend towards conservative management, as observed in 84.7% of women, while the remaining 15.4% underwent surgery. Haemorrhagic or ruptured corpus luteum was the most common diagnoses. As expected, women who had surgical intervention were more likely to have larger cysts (20 vs 50%; p<0.05), and larger free fluid findings on imaging (1.4 vs 23.8%; p<0.05) compared with those managed conservatively. There were no statistically significant differences in location of ovarian cysts (right or left) or antecedent to hospital presentation (vaginal intercourse or trauma).

Conclusion Ruptured ovarian cysts of both functional and non-functional types remained a common clinical presentation of acute pain for women to the emergency department. Majority of women were managed conservatively in our cohort, and indications for surgery were large ovarian cysts and large free fluid seen on imaging findings. Surgery was largely feasible with minimal complications.

  • minimally invasive surgery
  • community gynaecology
  • clinical audit
  • quality in health care

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