A pelvic mass is an enlargement or swelling in the pelvic region. Most pelvic masses are discovered during routine gynecologic or physical examinations. Pelvic masses may originate from either the gynecologic organs, such as the cervix, uterus, uterine adnexa, or from other pelvic organs, such as the intestines, bladder, ureters, and renal organs.
There are many gynecologic problems that can result in a pelvic mass. Additionally, there are other diseases that may also result in a pelvic mass. Most are benign conditions, such as an Ovarian Cyst, while others can be related to gynecologic cancer. That’s why it’s important to speak with your physician. Your physician can then help to determine the cause and nature of the mass and formulate an individualized treatment plan that’s right for you.
Pelvic Mass Symptoms
Many women may have a pelvic mass at some point in their life, although not all women will experience symptoms.
Some symptoms of pelvic mass may include:
- Pelvic pain (most common)
- Swelling or a bloated feeling of the abdomen
- Frequent urination due to pressure on the bladder
- Nausea and or vomiting
Pelvic Mass Causes
Some of the most common causes of a pelvic mass include:
- Endometrial hyperplasia
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Ovarian cysts/masses
- Other causes, such as intraperitoneal tumors or abscesses, bowel obstructions, renal organ enlargement, volvulus, etc.
Because numerous disorders can lead to the formation of a pelvic mass, it’s important to diagnose the cause of the mass before an appropriate treatment plan can be determined. Therefore, in addition to performing a pelvic examination, reviewing your personal health history and family history and discussing any symptoms, your physician may order several tests to help determine the cause of the pelvic mass.
Possible tests your doctor may recommend include:
- Laboratory tests
- Imaging studies such as abdominal ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Other tests such as intravenous pyelograms (IVP) and barium enemas (BE) are sometimes used to rule out ureteral or bowel involvement.
- Laparoscopic procedures to help diagnose the nature of the mass and determine the best possible treatment.
Once the cause of the mass is identified, your physician will determine an appropriate treatment plan based on the nature of the mass, its size and position within the pelvis, your symptoms, age and risk factors. Although medical management is possible for treating many types of pelvic masses, surgery often provides the highest success rates. If cancer is detected, treatment may include surgery alone, or a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.
At Hoag, our multidisciplinary team of pelvic health experts consists of gynecologists, urogynecologists, gastroenterologists and other subspecialists who work together to provide a coordinated approach in the treatment of pelvic health issues.
Hoag’s pelvic health team provides the latest progressive treatment options personalized to meet the needs of the individual patient. If surgery is necessary, Hoag’s expert team is well versed in the full gamut of minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques, including robotic-assisted surgery utilizing the state-of-the-art da Vinci® Surgical System.
If cancer is detected, Hoag’s pelvic health team works together with the cancer care experts at Hoag Cancer Institute to provide progressive streamlined care to patients, including innovative therapies that may not be available elsewhere.
For more information about the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic masses, please speak with your physician, or find a Hoag-affiliated physician near you.