This condition gets the name ‘Chocolate Cyst’ from its appearance. Contrary to its name, it can make a person’s life miserable with intense pain at times. Sometimes it progresses without any symptoms. Women who are afflicted with this condition may waste time by consulting every branch from internal medicine to physical therapy to find an answer to their complaints. According to a US study it can take an average of 6 years to make the right diagnosis for chocolate cysts. Acibadem Taksim Hospital Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Prof. Dr. Gürkan Zorlu, talked about chocolate cysts and provided important warnings and suggestions.

“The cyst can be the size of a pin’s head causing unbearable pain or the size of a lemon and progress sneakily without the slightest symptom!” The name of the disease is endometriosis and the cyst form is called endometrioma; and it is colloquially known as chocolate cysts. Acibadem Taksim Hospital Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Prof. Dr. Gürkan Zorlu said that endometriosis, which can turn into chocolate cysts “are irregularities occurring in the abdominal lining like pimples, which are dermatological disorders. While they can be in the shape of tiny pimples they can also be much larger like boils. There is a substance oozing out of these cysts not unlike a chocolate fountain” and added that these formations can cause lower back and groin pain but can also progress quietly without any symptoms.

My stomach is swollen, I have gas’

Kist3Women with chocolate cysts set out with a number of complaints like “There is something in my abdomen”, “My stomach feels swollen”, “I have gas in my stomach” and severe pain and may end up going to several different departments before ending up at a gynecologist, which is the right address for this condition. They are usually sent to Internal diseases, Gastroenterology or even physical therapy. According to a US study it can take an average of 6 years to make the right diagnosis for chocolate cysts. Prof. Dr. Gürkan Zorlu said “Since these small ovarian occurences cannot be seen even with the most technologically advanced devices and/or interpreted correctly such complaints are constantly looked into by other branches and a lot of time is wasted on following insignificant clues. Our diagnosis of the condition is quicker if the chocolate cyst form has taken shape”.

Beware of painful intercourse!

Kist1While chocolate cysts can cause some women to experience changes in their intestinal habits some end up experiencing painful intercourse. However, since many women are not aware that pain during intercourse could be caused by a disease they are hesitant about disclosing it to their doctor. In fact this is among the significant symptoms of a disease. This disease is often revealed when a specialist is consulted with the complaint ‘I might be infertile’. Prof. Dr. Gürkan Zorlu, who pointed out the changing approach to chocolate cysts in modern medicine, added “Now we might be in a position to operate on the chocolate cysts that we used to say were ‘too small to operate on’. He explained that they operated on patients who could not be treated medically by the laparoscopic method which provided the patients with many advantages, but added that treatment in a 25 year old will be different from a 40 year old patient”.

Golden standard in closed surgery

Pointing out closed surgery’s status as the golden standard in treatment, Prof. Dr. Gürkan Zorlu said “Treatment is generally planned depending on whether the patient has had a child, the stage of the disease and what the most prominent symptom is. Endometrioma, or chocolate cysts, usually require surgery and studies in the past have shown that even though this disease sometimes appears as if it responds to medication it can recur. Only successful surgery can be effective in reducing recurrences and closed surgery patients are not only able to return to work in a few days but also benefit aesthetically”. When chocolate cysts are not treated they can lead to more serious problems and on rare occasions they can even morph into malignant tumors.