Intraoperative Rupture of Ovarian Dermoid Cysts in the Pediatric and Adolescent Population: Should This Change Your Surgical Management?

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2017 Dec;30(6):636-640. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2017.03.139. Epub 2017 Mar 21.


Study objective: (1) To determine the incidence of chemical peritonitis after cystectomy for ovarian dermoid cysts with intraoperative cyst rupture in the pediatric and adolescent population; and (2) to examine the intraoperative and postoperative outcomes of cystectomies performed for ovarian dermoid cysts using laparoscopy and laparotomy, especially those with intraoperative cyst rupture.

Design: A retrospective cohort study of female patients who underwent ovarian cystectomy with proven ovarian dermoid pathology between July 2007 and July 2015.

Setting: Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas.

Participants: One hundred forty-four patients between the ages of 1 and 21 years who underwent an ovarian cystectomy with proven benign ovarian dermoid histology on the basis of pathology reports.

Interventions and main outcome measures: Occurrence of spill of cyst contents, chemical peritonitis, postoperative complications, and hospital readmissions.

Results: One hundred forty-four female patients underwent cystectomy (38 laparotomy and 106 laparoscopy) resulting in benign ovarian dermoid histology. Their mean age was 12.4 ± 4.1 years (range, 1-21), mean cyst size was 9.2 ± 6.4 cm (range, 1-30 cm), no patients had elevated tumor markers, 42 (29.1%) presented with torsion, 73 (50.7%) had cyst fluid spill, and there were no cases of chemical peritonitis. Few significant differences were found between cases performed via laparoscopy and laparotomy and those with and without intraoperative cyst rupture resulting in spill of contents. Laparotomy cases were found to have larger mean cyst size (P < .001), estimated blood loss (P = .003), and presence of bilateral cysts (P = .017) compared with laparoscopic cases. Cyst fluid spill occurred in more laparoscopic cases ([67/106] 63.2% vs [6/38] 15.8%; P < .001), and risk increased with cyst size greater than 5 cm (P < .001). In the laparoscopy group, cyst size greater than 5 cm was more likely to present with torsion (P < .001). There was no significant difference in the repeat cystectomy rate between the laparoscopy and laparotomy groups even with cyst rupture (P = .394). Only 5 cases presented to the emergency room postoperatively and 2 were admitted postoperatively for umbilical port site dehiscence and pyelonephritis.

Conclusion: Laparoscopic cystectomy of ovarian dermoid cysts is associated with greater intraoperative cyst rupture. However, cyst rupture is rarely associated with complications, therefore minimally invasive surgical management of ovarian dermoid cysts is a reasonable surgical approach.

Keywords: Adolescent; Chemical peritonitis; Ovarian dermoid; Pediatric; Rupture.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dermoid Cyst / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Laparotomy / adverse effects
  • Laparotomy / methods*
  • Ovarian Cysts / surgery
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Ovariectomy / methods
  • Peritonitis / epidemiology*
  • Peritonitis / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Teratoma / surgery*
  • Texas
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Teratoma, Ovarian