Women are taught early on about the importance of maintaining their reproductive health. From mammograms to pap smears, we are told it’s especially important to monitor as we age. However, occasionally someone prematurely experiences reproductive health scares. For young Allison Fisher, her health scare was an oversized ovarian cyst.
Ovarian cysts are pretty common among women, with at least 20% estimated to have at least one in their lifetime. Although some clear up on their own, or with birth control, some instances require surgery to remove the ovarian cyst. Fisher’s story began in 2020 when suddenly, her menstrual cycle became irregular. Furthermore, she found that she suffered from frequent and extreme stomach pain.
Hesitant to Seek Help
Fisher, now 20 years old, was hesitant to be seen. Rightfully disheartened, she had always found that her weight became the focal point of any doctor visit. “Regardless of what I was there for—whether it was a cold or an ear infection, I was always told, ‘you need to lose weight. If no one’s going to listen to me, if they’re always gonna tell me I need to lose weight, then what’s the point of going? What’s the point of listening to my body?” Fisher explained. Therefore, she kept putting the visit off, hoping not to have to address her weight yet again.
Finally, Fisher had had enough when her symptoms worsened, and a mass began growing on her stomach. As the mass grew, her stomach became “rock hard,” and she began to worry that something life threatening might be going on. “I felt like I was pregnant with 10 kids,” she explained. “I couldn’t lay on my stomach. It felt like all my organs were being crushed.” So, in 2022, just before Christmas, she saw a doctor.
The ovarian cyst had gotten so big that it was putting pressure on her lungs, making it difficult for her to breathe. “I let myself believe that if I ignored it, it would go away,” Fisher told Jacksonville Local News, “I was scared. I was just really scared.”
Ovarian Cyst Specialist
Fortunately, Dr. Martin Martino, took on her case. He has a prominent medical background with a major focus on gynecology. Matino was able to determine that Fisher’s problems stemmed for an enlarged ovarian cyst. It weighed just over 100 pounds, comprised nearly 50 liters of fluid, and would require surgery. “What was really interesting, is that once we removed it, we looked at the other ovary because now we could see it, and the left ovary was twisted three times. That [the left ovary] was about 10 centimeters that really helped us to be able to untwist it and save [Fisher’s] future fertility, and the chance to have kids.” Dr. Martino explained.
Successful Removal of the Ovarian Cyst
The surgery to remove the ovarian cyst was a success. “I can see my feet again; I haven’t been able to do that in years, I can stand a little bit longer. I feel so much lighter, like a person, I can wear clothes; I can do things that normal people can do. Now, moving forward, I am in the beginning stages of weight-loss surgery, and I am really excited for what life has in store for me.” Fisher optimistically shared. Fisher shared her story to encourage people to see a doctor, despite their weight. “There are other people out there who are in my shoes, other bigger people, who are just so scared to go to the doctor because of their weight,” Fisher added. “I just want them to know that they shouldn’t be scared.”
Open-Mindedness Makes all the Difference
It’s no secret that being overweight can cause major health concerns, and often a doctor’s first suggestion will be to eat better and exercise more. However, even people in excellent shape, they can go through a series of bodily malfunctions in their lifetime. Taking good care of yourself is important but that also includes proper examinations from medical professionals. Additionally, having a doctor who will listen to your health concerns with a compassionate and open-minded outlook, is invaluable.
Allison Fisher has been “given a second chance” at life thanks to the discovery and surgical removal of her 104-pound ovarian cyst. Most of the time, an ovarian cyst can have mild to no symptoms and be easily removed. However, it’s still important to know what’s happening with your reproductive health. Not only does that tie into your overall health, but can also have a negative impact on fertility and one’s ability to have children in the future.
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- “Florida woman, 20, has 100-lb. ovarian cyst removed: ‘it felt like my organs were being crushed’.” People Mag. Vanessa Etienne. March 29, 2023.