The type of treatment used for an abdominal cyst typically depends on what type of cyst it is. Fetal abdominal cysts usually require no treatment at all and clear on their own. For ovarian cysts, treatment can range anywhere from frequent monitoring only to hormone treatments to surgery. Both mesenteric cysts, which occur in the peritoneum at the back wall of the abdomen, and omental cysts, which develop in the front wall of the abdomen, typically require surgery for removal. In the case of mesenteric cysts, additional surgery to resection the bowel or intestines is also often needed.
Fetal abdominal cysts are some of the most common types, particularly in female babies who were exposed to high levels of hormones in the uterus. Once the baby is born, these benign cysts typically dissolve on their own and require no further treatment. In rare cases, the cyst will be large enough to be a threat to the infant, or it may simply not clear on its own, and then surgery may then become necessary to remove it.
Ovarian cysts are also quite common, and their treatment will often depend on how severe they are. The first course of action will usually be to observe them to monitor for any growth and allow them the chance to resolve on their own. This may not occur, but as long as the cysts cause no problems, treatment may not be necessary.
If ovarian cysts do grow, oral contraceptives may be given to stop their growth and shrink them. Pain medication may also be necessary to relieve any discomfort they cause. For larger cysts that cause severe pain or bleeding and do not respond to birth control pills, surgery may be necessary. Depending on the situation, this may be done laparoscopically or through a larger incision in the abdominal wall.
A mesenteric or omental abdominal cyst may be asymptomatic, but those that need treatment usually require surgical removal. Mesenteric cysts arise in the part of the peritoneum known as the mesentery, which often puts them in close proximity to the intestines and bowel. In many cases, this means it will also be necessary to resect the bowel or intestines when the cyst is removed. Omental cysts, which are typically found in the anterior wall of the abdomen, can usually be removed without any additional impact to nearby organs.