Over a 2-year period, ultrasound-guided aspiration of painful, presumptively benign ovarian cysts was performed in 18 women < 40 years old. Aspiration was performed either transvaginally (12 patients) or transabdominally (6 patients) depending on the cyst location. Neither anaesthesia nor analgesia were used, and all patients had immediate pain relief, and escaped immediate surgical intervention. None had complications or evidence of malignant cells on cytologic examination, and all were discharged within 24 h of the procedure. The recurrence rate within 1 year of the procedure was 11.1 %. The procedure appeared to be a good and safe alternative to surgery.

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