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'Strangers thought I was pregnant due to cyst filled with 16 litres of fluid'

A woman who lived with a 40cm cyst which weighed 2.5st says it was so big, strangers assumed she was pregnant.

Siobhan Foster, 26, started suffering from ‘excruciating’ stomach pain before tests revealed she had a cyst a month later.

Now, she’s had the mass removed, and says she feels ‘amazing.’

Siobhan, from Nottingham, began experiencing abdominal pain in March 2022. She says: ‘It was excruciating. I was very large, and I struggled with breathing.’

She had an emergency appointment where medics suggested she may have a cyst. A scan confirmed this, and blood tests and an MRI a month later also confirmed that the cyst was not cancerous.

Siobhan needed surgery to remove it, but had to wait 11 months due to long NHS waiting times – in the months that followed the cyst, which was on the broad ligament of the uterus, continued to grow.

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It left her struggling to walk and unable to continue working in childcare.

She also became self-conscious by the ever growing bump.

‘People were thinking – “she’s pregnant”. I was very self-conscious,’ she says.

‘I felt embarrassed. Sometimes I didn’t want to go out the house.’

Siobhan, a child practioner, finally had keyhole surgery in June 2023 at Nottingham City Hospital, where medics drained 16 litres of fluid from the cyst.

She also says she lost two-and-half stone due to the size of it.

Now, she feels amazing and says the four-and-a half hour operation was life-changing.

‘The surgery has been life changing. It’s been the best thing. It’s like going to sleep and waking up three stone lighter.

‘Now I tell myself – “you look amazing”.’

Doctors discovered it was a ligament cyst during the operation – not an ovarian cyst as they originally thought.

Siobhan said: ‘It was a big lump in me. It was two-and-half stone they drained off me.

‘The cyst was getting into a dangerous place – connecting to my kidney. It was a shock.’

Siobhan stayed at the hospital for one night before she was able to return home to recover.

She said her stomach was tender, but she was back walking around after three weeks.

She said: ‘I feel more confident. I wear crop tops and dresses.

‘I feel like a new person in a new body.’

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