In the ongoing saga of testing and WTF is going on with my innards, I have more information. So… A little bit of TMI for you below the fold.
We went to the appointment. And no – they weren’t telling me about the zebras that I already know about. There was a unicorn!
I have a teratoma on my ovary. From Wikipedia (and I caution you that there are photos if you click):
A teratoma is a tumor with tissue or organ components resembling normal derivatives of more than one germ layer… The tissues of a teratoma, although normal in themselves, may be quite different from surrounding tissues and may be highly disparate; teratomas have been reported to contain hair, teeth, bone and, very rarely, more complex organs or processes such as eyes, torso, and hands, feet, or other limbs.
Usually, a teratoma will contain no organs but rather one or more tissues normally found in organs such as the brain, thyroid, liver, and lung. Sometimes, the teratoma has within its capsule one or more fluid-filled cysts; when a large cyst occurs, there is a potential for the teratoma to produce a structure within the cyst that resembles a fetus. Because they are encapsulated, teratomas are usually benign, although several forms of malignant teratoma are known and some of these are common forms of teratoma. A mature teratoma is typically benign and found more commonly in women, while an immature teratoma is typically malignant and is more often found in men.
Teratomas are thought to be present at birth (congenital), but small ones often remain undiscovered until much later in life.
In my case it seems to be a “mature teratoma” which is good.
So I have a critter. Its name is Ned.
As soon as insurance approves it, I’ll be having abdominal surgery. I’m not ill, and there’s a 90% chance it’s benign, however it is a little smaller than a tennis ball in size. If it ruptures, I’m in trouble. So – I’ll be having open abdominal surgery, and possibly losing the ovary. Some other things are going to be checked out while I’m “open.” I’ll be a few days in the hospital, and then there’s recovery. So – I might not be around for a while.
There’s strong history that they come in twos, so my doctor will be checking the other ovary in case there’s one the ultrasound didn’t catch. Often these things are removed with a camera – an outpatient procedure with less risk. However, in my case the doctor wants to be aggressive and I agree. It’s so big that there’s a significant chance of rupture if you mess with it, so sucking it through a camera is a dumb move. Since it’s unknown WHAT is in there, we don’t want that… Possibly hair floating around in my abdominal cavity? Nearly impossible to clean out, and great potential for eventual sepsis that way. So with the open surgery, he’ll be able to take my organs out of the abdominal cavity, and remove it from the ovary. If it ruptures, it’s out of the cavity. Also, since my birth defect lends itself to cysts and fibroids, getting his eyes on my organs with this opportunity is probably a good thing.
I am really curious about how my body functions after I’m healed. I wondered if I was going into early menopause with some of my issues – but those same issue are hormonally controlled. So since Ned is so big – bigger than the ovary it’s on – has it hampered my hormonal system? Will those things heal themselves?