Doctors Remove 50-Pound Cyst in This Woman's Ovary

Doctors at Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, Alabama, removed a 50-pound cyst from a woman's ovary in May 2018. (Photo by Jackson Hospital

Doctors removed a 50-pound cyst from a woman's ovary after mysterious symptoms interfered with her daily life and led strangers to believe she was pregnant.

Kayla Rahn, of Montgomery, Alabama, tried to lose weight for over a year but instead gained it at an alarming rate. She lost her breath on the walk to her car and sized out of her favorite clothes, she told NBC 12 in Richmond, Virginia.

"I legit looked like I was a solid 9 months pregnant," she said. "It was frustrating and rough."

After her mother took her to Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, doctors located a huge mucinous cystadenoma in one of Rahn's ovaries and removed it immediately. A gynecologist at the hospital said it was one of the largest he'd ever seen.

Medical personnel extracted the cyst, which weighed about the equivalent of five bowling balls, after Kayla Rahn was admitted to the hospital in May 2018. (Photo by Jackson Hospital)

Mucinous cystadenomas are rare and "tend to be huge in size," according to a 2010 study of the cysts. The usually benign tumor can fill the entire abdominal cavity and cause torsions and hemorrhaging. When ruptured, it leaks mucinous fluid throughout the abdomen.

In February, a 24-person team removed a 132-pound mucinous cyst from a Connecticut woman's left ovary after she'd gained 10 pounds every week for two months, Fox 61 reported. The heaviest ovarian cyst weight 328 pounds and was drained over seven days in 1905.

Though 100-pound growths are rare, ovarian cysts are not. They're a typical byproduct of menstruation and form in the ovaries as fluid-filled pockets, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office on Women's Health. Eggs will typically burst through ovarian follicles during ovulation, but when a follicle continues to grow without releasing the egg, a cyst forms. Most cysts pass without symptoms, though, and only 8 percent of women develop growths that need treatment.

Ovarian cysts are rarely cancerous, but they can pose serious health risks if left untreated. Patients are often bedridden and have difficulty breathing as the cyst pushes against organs. Doctors reported leg swelling, malnourishment and potential blood clots in patients, and during surgery, blood pressure can spike when the cyst is lifted off major blood vessels.

Mucinous cysts aren't the only kind that made news recently: in April, doctors discovered a dermoid teratoma in a woman's right ovary that contained hair, teeth and bones. Calle Hack, 33, told Today that she discovered the teratoma, which derives from the Greek word for "monster," after years of crippling period pain that made her black out and vomit.

Often present at birth, dermoid teratoma cysts form from leftover embryonic cells.

"It should help form a body part as you develop," she said. "Instead it's a clump of cells that didn't disperse inside my body."