Background: When a woman with an endometrioma presents with acute abdominal pain, it is unclear whether ovarian torsion should be suspected.
Objectives: To compare patient characteristics, imaging results, and surgical management of endometriomas in elective versus emergent surgeries.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study included women treated at our institution during the period 1990–2015 who presented with histologically verified endometrioma and who underwent either planned surgery or emergent surgery due to suspected adnexal torsion.
Results: Of 225 surgeries performed, 174 were elective and 51 emergent. Patients in the emergent group were significantly younger (33.9 ± 11.1 vs. 39.01 ± 10.9 years, P = 0.004). Abdominal pain was the main complaint of all the emergent surgery patients and the leading complaint in 21% of the elective surgery patients (P < 0.001), with right-sided predominance in both groups. Sonographic parameters were similar in both groups. Bilateral ovarian cysts were noted in 11.7% and 11.0% of emergent and elective patients, respectively (P = 0.87). Laboratory evaluation was notable for a higher white blood cell count and CA125 levels among emergent patients. All patients in the emergent group and 93% of patients in the elective group were managed laparoscopically. No cases of torsion were noted. The rate of intra-pelvic adhesions was similar in both groups (56.8% vs. 66.6%, P = 0.19).
Conclusions: Endometrioma may present with acute abdominal pain. However, adnexal torsion in these patients is rare. These cases can be managed using a minimally invasive approach, assuming an optimal surgical setting.