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What is ovarian teratoma, its causes and methods of treatment?

There are many diseases of the female reproductive organs, which can seriously affect not only the ability to conceive a child, but also lead to serious complications. One of the most unusual diseases at the moment is ovarian teratoma. This tumor is striking and frightened by one of its appearance. Scientists from all over the world are trying to establish the real cause of this unusual disease.


What is ovarian teratoma?

Teratoma is a special neoplasm, which is referred to as lipid-cell. It is customary to refer it to germ cell tumors that develop from the primary germ cells of the sex glands. Its feature is a heterogeneous structure, as each of the parts develops from different embryonic sheets. As a result, real hair and even teeth can grow out of this tumor formation. In rare cases, doctors discovered eyeballs and the rudiments of limbs, which gave the tumors a resemblance to a scary and ugly living thing. It is because of the terrifying appearance of this tumor was called teratoma, from the Latin word teras - monster.


When removing ovarian teratoma, teeth, hair and other structures are found.

Teratoma is considered a benign neoplasm and rarely reborn into a malignant tumor.

There are many synonyms for ovarian teratoma:

  • embryoma;
  • parasitic fetus;
  • tridermoma;
  • complex cell tumor;
  • mixed terratogenic education;
  • mono derm.

Such a large number of names indicates that teratoma remains a mysterious disease, the exact causes of which are not yet fully understood.

Video about teratoma of the ovary in the program of Elena Malysheva "To live healthy"

Causes and risk factors

Currently, the real causes of ovarian teratoma formation have not yet been established. One of the most common versions of scientists believe a violation of embryogenesis due to chromosomal abnormalities.

Ovarian teratoma

The most common cause of teratoma is considered to be chromosomal abnormalities.

There is also an interesting theory, according to which teratoma develops during pathological processes during the development of identical twins, when one fruit absorbs another.

In addition, the following possible reasons for the formation of teratomas are highlighted:

  • sharp hormonal disruptions;
  • the beginning or end of the menstrual cycle;
  • use of contraceptive drugs;
  • Female genital surgery.

Types of tumors and their features

Teratoma can be located on the left or right ovary. Less often, it appears immediately from both sides. The most common right-sided teratoma, due to the special anatomical structure of the female reproductive system. From this side the blood supply is the most active. Left-sided teratoma occurs less frequently, since ovulation occurs less frequently in this ovary. Due to the reduced load in this side, all kinds of cysts and tumors are significantly less formed.

Ovarian tumor

Teratoma is most often formed on the right ovary.

In accordance with the histological structure there are several types of teratomas:

  • mature
  • immature
  • with transformation into a malignant tumor.

Mature teratoma

This type of embryoma develops from clearly differentiated germ cells. In its structure, it can be of three types.

  1. Single usually small size, less often contains in the structure hair and bone elements.
  2. Solid or solid can reach a very large size and a detailed study found cartilage, bone tissue and vesicles with fluid accumulation. It is not homogeneous and, during examination, its surface is often hilly and very dense to the touch.
  3. Ovarian cystic teratoma is a large accumulation of bubbles filled with grayish and yellowish fluid, and cells of the sebaceous and sweat glands are also found. Nervous, fatty and muscular tissues, intestinal cells can lie between them. This type of teratoma is very dangerous, as it can reach gigantic sizes and contributes to the twisting of the base of the tumor, which leads to tissue necrosis. It usually occurs on the right ovary.

Immature teratoma

This type of education is considered transitional and it has a tendency to degenerate into malignant teratoblastoma. Consists of low-differentiated cells that form mesenchymal and nerve tissue. Immature teratoma is quite rare, only in three percent of all patients after a histological assessment is this diagnosis established.

The main danger is the rapid spread of the tumor process in the transformation into teratoblastoma, which contributes to blood flow and lymph flow. Most often this disease is found in girls aged 17-26 years. The surface of this tumor is smooth, prone to quickly necrotic and bleed. At the same time, cartilage and epithelial cells are not found in the composition. Very often, immature teratoma appears in gliomatosis and contributes to the spread of metastases to nearby organs.

Ovarian teratoma with malignant transformation

This type of teratoma is the rarest and is necessarily accompanied by cancer. After taking a tumor sample for histology, patients are diagnosed with melanoma, adenocarcinoma, and other types of malignant diseases. In the ovaries, cells characteristic of thyroid cancer can be detected.

Symptoms and signs

Usually teratoma is a single formation with smooth contours, the size of which rarely exceeds 15 centimeters.

Mature ovarian teratoma has its clinical manifestations:

  • they are often found in girls of different ages, including even in newborns;
  • the most frequent location is in the right ovary, in front of the uterus;
  • small teratomas are difficult to detect using ultrasound;
  • asymptomatic course of the disease;
  • acute abdominal pains appear only with suppuration and twist the legs of the teratoma.
Teratoma with hair

Teratoma is often asymptomatic until it reaches a large size.

If the teratoma has reached a large size and is more than seven centimeters in length, then the following symptoms may be found in patients:

  • pelvic organs are shifted;
  • pain in the right or left side, feeling of heaviness;
  • difficulty urinating, down to dysuria;
  • violation of defecation, it becomes painful, often tormented by constipation;
  • in the place where teratoma grows, the abdomen may increase in size;
  • severe anemia for large tumors;
  • weakness, fatigue, drowsiness with immature teratoma;
  • elevated temperature during suppuration and necrosis.

Manifestations in left and right teratoma are no different, except for the localization of pain. In most cases, the disease is asymptomatic, until the tumor reaches a large size. Most often, the established diagnosis is a surprise for patients and is detected during prophylactic examinations.

Sometimes the first time teratoma is detected after childbirth, since the changed hormonal background is able to stimulate the tumor to increased growth.

Video about teratome in the program “Monsters inside me”

Diagnosis of the disease

At the first suspicion of the appearance of tumors in the pelvic organs, women should consult a gynecologist. At the beginning, the doctor will collect anamnesis, clarify existing complaints, symptoms of diseases and conduct a bimanual study of the vagina and cervix. There will also be an inspection using special gynecological mirrors.

Then, ultrasound diagnostics of the pelvic organs is necessarily assigned. Also, this study helps to identify the pathology of intrauterine fetal development, if a woman is pregnant.


Ultrasound reveals large blackouts that may indicate the development of teratoma.

Additionally, the following instrumental diagnostic methods can be assigned:

  • fluoroscopy, which also examines other organs, to detect possible metastasis;
  • doplerography to study the blood supply of the tumor;
  • computed and magnetic resonance imaging for layer-by-layer images of internal organs;
  • puncture of the abdominal area with sampling material for histological examination of tumor tissues;
  • Irrigoscopy or colon exam with a special contrast agent for suspected tumors in this area;
  • rectoromanoscopy, examination with a special camera of the inner part of the rectum.

They may also prescribe a blood test to determine the presence of placental antigens and tumor markers, such as human chorionic gonadotropin, alpha-fetoprotein.

Mature teratoma on ultrasound

Treatment of ovarian teratoma

Teratoma is not amenable to conservative treatment and the majority of patients are given surgical removal of the tumor.

Surgery to remove ovarian teratoma

In almost all cases of ovarian teratoma detection, women are prescribed surgery to remove it to avoid possible degeneration into a malignant tumor. There are several options for surgery:

  • Laparoscopic enucleation, in which only tumor cells are eliminated;
  • partial removal of the ovary with teratoma, to preserve the reproductive function;
  • complete resection of the uterus and ovaries to reduce the risk of the formation of oncological tumors in menopause.

Before setting the date of surgery, the patient must pass the following tests and undergo the necessary studies:

  • complete blood count with the study group and the Rh factor;
  • blood chemistry;
  • coagulogram to determine the rate of blood clotting;
  • a blood test for antibodies to HIV, hepatitis and certain other sexually transmitted diseases;
  • ECG or electrocardiogram to study the work of the heart;
  • general vaginal smear for the detection of inflammation and the presence of sexually transmitted diseases;
  • additional examinations by doctors of different directions with special indications.

Surgical removal of teratoma

For especially large tumors, they can prescribe surgery with a standard surgical incision in the abdomen. The doctor carefully examines the pelvic organs for the presence of other tumors, adhesions and inflammatory processes. After removal of teratoma, the abdominal cavity is reorganized. The time of the procedure is about one hour, after which the patient is stitched.

After removal of the tumors in this way, a rather pronounced scar may remain on the skin and the patient’s recovery time may increase significantly. Also increases the risk of bleeding and seam divergence.

Laparoscopic teratoma removal

In most cases, laparoscopic surgery will be required, after which only small incisions remain, no longer than 2-3 centimeters. This method is minimally invasive and consists in carrying out three punctures through which the camera and the instruments for the operation are inserted. If multiple tumors are found that have affected most of the reproductive organs, patients are not only removed the teratoma itself, but also the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus.

Laparoscopic surgery

During laparoscopic surgery, small incisions are made through which instruments and a special camera are inserted.

There are many advantages to performing just the laparoscopic removal of tumors:

  • more likely to preserve the childbearing function;
  • minimal trauma to the skin;
  • shorter recovery period;
  • minimal risk of complications and blood loss;
  • additional examination of the pelvic organs with an optical device;
  • minimal risk of formation of adhesive processes due to the absence of intestinal trauma.

Usually, the operation is performed on the 5-10 day after the end of the month.

Chemotherapy and radiation

If a tumor has been diagnosed after a tumor has been removed, a malignant tumor was diagnosed, patients may be given chemotherapy, radiation, or anti-tumor medication. Also, patients may be prescribed hormone therapy if the tumor has been found to have receptors that are sensitive to the effects of hormones. Chemotherapy is carried out using special preparations containing platinum (Cisplatin, Platinum, Platinol).

Postoperative recovery

Two days after surgery, patients are allowed to get out of bed on their own and move around. Approximately five days before discharge from the hospital, stitches are removed. Patients should observe a gentle treatment for at least a week at home, try to rest more and take light walks. It is better to abstain from sex for a month and a half after the operation in order to avoid possible ruptures and internal bleeding.

Treatment and precautions during pregnancy

Self-medication during pregnancy is excluded, since it can lead to miscarriage and even death in the mother. A woman should strictly follow all the advice of a doctor. The following guidelines should be followed:

  • to undergo a monthly check-up at a gynecologist and carry out an ultrasound diagnosis;
  • avoid sudden movements, bends, turns;
  • If teratoma occurs in the abdominal pain, consult a doctor immediately.

If the teratoma is large and no earlier than the seventeenth week of pregnancy, laparoscopic removal of the tumor is possible. However, in the event of necrosis and torsion of the base of the teratoma, the operation is carried out at any time.

If the size of the tumor is small, you can remove it during cesarean section, or a few months after vaginal delivery.

Consequences and complications

The prognosis of treatment of teratoma is often favorable, in 98% of all cases there is a complete cure of the disease. Only in 2–3% of patients the tumor degenerates into a malignant one. In the early period of detection of a cancer, the chance of recovery is quite high. In the absence of timely treatment, the following complications may occur:

  • reincarnation of teratoma into a malignant tumor;
  • metastasis to other internal organs;
  • torsion of the legs of the tumor;
  • tissue necrosis;
  • neoplasm rupture;
  • internal bleeding;
  • peritonitis due to the contents of the cyst in the abdominal cavity;
  • violation of the functions of the pelvic organs due to compression.

Impact on pregnancy planning

Tumors of large sizes can seriously affect the ability to conceive a child and its carrying. Very often there are cases of fetal death and miscarriage. However, pregnancy with teratoma is possible if special conditions are met:

  • the tumor is mature;
  • there are no other ovarian neoplasms;
  • teratoma size does not exceed five centimeters;
  • there are no other related diseases of the internal organs.

During pregnancy, when a teratoma is detected, a constant thorough examination of the gynecologist and an ultrasound diagnosis are necessary in order to promptly respond to any changes in its size and location.


I was removed in February using laparoscopy. First, she took preoperative tests (blood, smears, ultrasound, FGDS, examination by an oncologist), then after collecting all the pieces of paper in the hospital. The day before the operation, do not eat after 14–00 + in the evening “Aunt Enema” visits + give sleeping pills. In the morning at 9–00 pills again, you can neither eat nor drink, the next “Aunt Enema.” All morning it was foggy because of the pills. Then an operating room, anesthesia (about 10–00). I woke up at 13–00 with a dropper and drainage. In the course of the day they prick an anesthetic (a little that I remember). Since the time spent in the hospital was limited due to work, she tried to get up that evening, but in vain. The next day, they removed the drainage, made a bandage. On the third day after the operation, they were discharged home. After the cessation of anesthetic injections, pain appeared in the area of ​​the ribs, shoulders (gas after laparoscopy), weakness. After 10 days I removed the stitches. There are small scars on the sides, in the navel is not visible.

a guest


I deleted in 2008, I was 32 years old. The first day after anesthesia was difficult — weakness and so on; it walked along the wall — it made me sick. Then it was sharply on the mend, and 4 days after the lapar it left the hospital. , they gave him a lot, I see .. All the ovarian functions are fine with me, the cyst was 1 cm. There, they simply pinch off the ovarian tissue until I get to the teratoma, and in the meantime this organ is recovering — I saw it on the video from my operation. In general, after other operations, I consider this nonsense. In a cosmetic sense, my shovchiki is less than a centimeter at all.



who made such a diagnosis, do not be afraid, believe only in the best. the main thing is to find a good surgeon (with extensive experience), which will remove the teratome with minimal consequences for the female organs. tell your story. I also found it on the ultrasound of the pelvic organs. did not believe it and went elsewhere in a similar ultrasound. the diagnosis was similar, only teratoma size differed. sent for MRI, there is a more accurate diagnosis with more accurate dimensions. the only symptom was frequent urination at night for two weeks 4-6 times (it turned out the size of the teratoma pressed on nearby organs). pain and tingling is very rare as if walking fast. an alarming week was spent on testing, after which they were hospitalized in the morning. the whole day was intensively fed (apparently, the nutrients should still come), at 9 pm they made an enema. There were no pills (apparently at the request or with special anxiety of the patient), there was a conversation with the doctor and an anesthesiologist, at 7 am the next day, an enema again, you can not drink. in two days my turn came for an operation. pre-medication, and 2 hours under anesthesia. after the operation, after two hours you can already eat (they gave dogrose infusion and baking). the next day, the drainage was removed in the morning, without it it became much easier to sit down and stand up. By evening, already hobbled down the corridor. and the next day they wrote out. the seams were removed after 10 days, another 10 days of treatment with green paint, and the last stage was to smear the contractubex so that the seams were even more invisible.



Girls, a teratome of 6 cm of the right ovary was removed a week ago. I'll start from the beginning. In January, I was picked up by an ambulance with suspicion of appendicitis, but my apoplexy occurred (I guess it wasn’t, just the doctors at the hospital didn’t find a teratoma in me). Then it was observed in the LCD. 3 months, said that the ovary is still swollen. I decided to go to a paid clinic and I was immediately found teratome, did not believe it, she was not found for 3 months. On the same day I went to another clinic and there again teratoma. Then I found a doctor where I was supposed to be cut, then a bunch of tests, including gastro and colonoscopy. Immediately I will say girls, do not be afraid of colonoscopy, the procedure is certainly not very pleasant, but there is nothing terrible about it. On the contrary, everyone will see you there. Then the operation, histological examination and everything went like a bad dream. Girls, I want to say only one thing, I had a stomach ache for half a year, sometimes even to tears. I read on the Internet that this pain happens only with malignant teratoma. THIS IS EVERYTHING! !! And I YOU CONFIRMATION. I just lacked such a comment when I was sick, because not the most pleasant thoughts climb when everyone writes that when it hurts it is cancer. Do not be afraid of anything. Just visit the gynecologist at least once in half a year and everything will be fine.



The prognosis of treatment for teratoma is often favorable, but most patients fear this diagnosis because of the appearance of the tumor, which is named after a monster or an animal for good reason. Teeth, cartilage, hair, muscle and nerve tissue, and sometimes even eyeballs penetrate the neoplasm. To this day, teratoma raises many disputes about the causes of its origin. Almost all patients need to undergo surgical removal of the tumor to avoid further complications.


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