Most women experience ovarian cysts at some point in their lives. Usually benign, these fluid-filled sacs usually dissolve on their own without causing any noticeable symptoms or health issues.
But in some cases, these cysts can become problematic, leading to pain, discomfort, cancer, and other complications. Sadly, misdiagnoses of ovarian cysts are not unheard of and can have serious consequences on a person’s health and well-being.
What happens if an ovarian cyst is left untreated? Learn more about untreated ovarian cysts, ovarian remnant syndrome, and when to call the medical malpractice lawyers at Poulos & Coates for help.
What Are Ovarian Cysts?
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop on an individual’s ovaries. In most cases, they are harmless and go away without treatment. However, some cysts can lead to complications. They are often categorized into four types.
- Functional cysts. These are the most common type and form during an individual’s menstrual cycle. These cysts typically go away on their own.
- Dermoid cysts. These cysts contain tissue such as hair or skin and are generally benign. Also called a teratoma, they are formed from reproductive cells that make eggs in the ovary. While they can be painful, these cysts are rarely more serious.
- Endometriomas. These cysts develop as a result of endometriosis, an often painful condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus.
- Cystadenoma. This type of cyst develops from cells on the surface of an ovary and is often filled with a watery or mucous fluid. Cystadenoma can grow large, moving an individual’s ovary and causing great pain.
Although many ovarian cysts don’t cause lasting damage, this is not always the case, and the outcome can be devastating. They are generally diagnosed by performing a pelvic exam.
Then, a doctor might use an ultrasound to determine the cyst’s type, shape, and size, followed by bloodwork to see if the cyst is cancerous. Treatments include observation, hormone treatment, and even surgery to remove the cyst or cysts.
What Happens If an Ovarian Cyst Is Left Untreated?
Ovarian remnant syndrome poses serious health risks. The remaining ovarian tissue has the potential to grow, leading to the formation of cysts or hemorrhage, which can cause significant pain and discomfort. Furthermore, these remnants can re-implant themselves in various parts of the abdominal cavity, including the bladder, bowel, and ureters, further complicating the condition and potentially requiring medical intervention.
So, can ovarian cysts be left untreated? In some cases, a physician may not recommend treating a cyst.
This is usually the case when the cyst is benign and expected to disappear after a few weeks or months. But if the patient’s case is more serious, diagnosing the ovarian cyst and starting the right treatment can make all the difference.
Like many other medical conditions, misdiagnosed cysts can lead to severe consequences for patients. This can include delaying life-saving surgical intervention and treatment for cancer or forcing a patient into undergoing treatments or procedures they don’t need.
Can I Sue for Ovarian Remnant Syndrome If Misdiagnosed?
Ovarian remnant syndrome is a condition where a doctor fails to remove a piece of ovarian tissue after a surgical procedure to remove one or both ovaries. The residual tissue then results in pelvic pain or a pelvic mass.
If left untreated, this can cause significant pain and lead to cancer. The condition often requires surgery to remove the residual tissue. If you have suffered ovarian remnant syndrome due to a doctor’s malpractice, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your losses.
When to Consider a Medical Malpractice Claim
If you think that your ovarian cysts were misdiagnosed and you suffered undue harm as a result, seeking legal assistance might be necessary. You might need to contact a medical malpractice attorney in New Mexico if you have suffered:
- Delayed diagnosis and treatment. If your cysts were not diagnosed and properly treated promptly, they may result in complications that could have been prevented with the right intervention.
- Improper or incorrect treatment. If your ovarian cyst is not diagnosed or misdiagnosed, you may be subjected to unnecessary medical procedures, surgeries, or medications.
This is especially dangerous when a misdiagnosis leads to a condition like ovarian cancer, which is dangerous and deadly.
According to the American Cancer Society, in 2023, around 19,710 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Sadly, around 13,270 of them will die.
In cases where medical professionals fail to adhere to the standard of care expected in diagnosing or treating ovarian cysts, they can harm or worsen a patient’s health outcome. In these situations, you may consider filing a legal claim against the doctor or organization they work for.
Medical Malpractice in New Mexico
Medical malpractice claims in New Mexico fall under the state’s Medical Malpractice Act. To bring a claim under the act, a plaintiff must show that the provider’s negligence caused the harm. The elements of a medical malpractice claim in New Mexico are:
- The healthcare provider owed the patient a duty of care;
- The provider breached this duty;
- The patient suffered direct injury or harm from the breach; and
- The patient sustained damages as a result of the breach.
If these are met, a plaintiff may recover damages for past and future medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. No matter what, it is important to seek the advice of a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
Medical malpractice cases often require significant evidence and sometimes expert testimony to prove your claim. A New Mexico medical malpractice attorney can tell you what evidence you need to gather and help you throughout the entire process.
Have You Suffered Due to an Untreated Ovarian Cyst?
If you think a medical professional made a mistake in diagnosing an ovarian cyst and you suffered harm as a result, you don’t have to face the aftermath alone.
At Poulos & Coates, we focus solely on medical malpractice claims and even have a doctor and nurse on staff to help evaluate your claim.
With more than seven decades of combined legal experience and over $300 million earned for our clients through settlements and jury verdicts, we are the team you want in your corner. For a free consultation, contact our office or fill out our online contact form to get started today.