EDITORIAL COMMENT: This large series of cystic teratomas of the ovary, treated in one institution, should provide reliable figures for bilaterality of the tumour (13.7%; 31 of 226), and the incidence of complications. However, the most interesting information provided is that histological examination of both ovaries in 182 of 242 women with a unilateral ovarian mass led to identification of a teratoma in the ‘normal ovary’ in only 2 cases (1.1%). This finding would seem to support the authors'conclusion that bisection of the opposite ovary to exclude a tumour is not indicated, since it could decrease the fertility of the patient. Most textbooks recommend that after treatment of a cystic teratoma (usually by conservative cystectomy in the premenopausal patient) the opposite ovary should be sectioned, although in the editor's experience this is seldom performed-correctly so, according to the findings in this paper.
Summary: Bilaterality, complications and associated pathology were reevaluated in 286 cases of mature teratoma of the ovary, treated in the last 25 years. Torsion was the most frequent complication, occurring in 22 (7.7%) patients. Rupture, infection and secondary malignant change were uncommon complications, occurring in 11 (3.8%), 7 (2.4%) and 1 (0.3%) patients, respectively. Both ovaries were evaluated histologically in 226 patients, 31 (13.7%) of whom were shown to have bilateral tumours, including 2 patients with tumour in the normally appearing ovary, contralateral to the gross tumour.