A mother revealed a giant 20lb ovarian cyst that made her look pregnant was removed before it crushed her lungs and she was 'suffocated from the insid
A mother revealed a giant 20lb ovarian cyst that made her look pregnant was removed before it crushed her lungs and she was ‘suffocated from the inside out’.
Kenya Smith, from Utah, said she started having trouble going to the loo, could no longer sleep on her stomach and had discomfort after eating last May so visited a doctor.
She claims doctors were left scratching their heads as her stomach continued to balloon, and her tummy eventually became so big that she was constantly mistaken for being pregnant – and was asked around 50 times when she was due.
After several months passed with no answers, the content creator booked her own ultrasound and CT scan, which revealed she had an ovarian cyst – a fluid-filled sac on her right ovary.
The mother-of-three eventually had the life-saving surgery in November to drain ten litres of liquid from the cyst, saying: ‘It was life-saving surgery. If it wasn’t treated it would have kept on growing and crushed my lungs, so I would have suffocated from the inside out.’
Kenya Smith, from Orem, Utah, revealed a giant 20lb ovarian cyst that made her look pregnant was removed before it crushed her lungs and she was ‘suffocated from the inside out’ (left, before, and right, while suffering from the cyst)
The mother-of-three eventually had the life-saving surgery in November to drain ten litres of liquid from the cyst before it was removed along with her right ovary and fallopian tube (pictured after surgery)
Kenya said that she had her youngest last March and that her stomach never really went down after she gave birth.
But it started getting bigger once she stopped breastfeeding around six months later.
Kenya said: ‘The main symptoms that made me go to the doctor were having a hard time going to the bathroom and I like to sleep on my stomach sometimes and I couldn’t lay on my stomach.
‘Every time I’d eat I’d have discomfort where I’d feel really full.
‘I had no idea what the symptoms were. I was wondering what was going on because I’d never had anything like this before.
‘I thought maybe it was a gastro problem, my abs didn’t come back together after having a baby or that maybe I’d developed a food allergy.
‘I went to five different specialists – an obstetrics doctor, pelvic floor specialist, an allergist, a naturalist, a gastroenterologist, before I finally scheduled my own ultrasound and CT scan.
‘I was pretty persistent even before it started to get bigger – I was at the doctors, googling everything and using social media to ask for help.
‘I saw a girl whose stomach looked very similar to mine and she had fibroids, which are benign tumours that can grow on your uterus.
‘I thought ‘oh my gosh, that looks like my stomach’. That initially made me think I don’t have time to wait for all these doctors to figure it out, I needed an ultrasound as soon as possible.’
Kenya claims that at its largest, she was in pain as it crushed on her ribs, she became exhausted and survived on smoothies for three weeks as there was no room in her abdomen.
Kenya admitted that her stomach started getting bigger once she stopped breastfeeding around six months
Kenya said her growing stomach made her look pregnant and she showed off her figure in August 2022 in a gym selfie
After several months passed with no answers, the content creator booked her own ultrasound and CT scan, which revealed she had an ovarian cyst – a fluid-filled sac on her right ovary
Kenya said she was constantly asked if she was pregnant (pictured, with her ovarian cyst in November 2022 three days before having it removed)
Since the op, Kenya says she feels ‘like a new person’ and is now urging women to advocate for themselves and their health, given that ‘we know our bodies better than anybody else’.
She said: ‘For me it was an emergency to get it out because I literally was starving because I couldn’t eat anything because there was no more room in my abdomen for my stomach to grow.
‘I was in so much pain and so miserable at the end. I was drinking smoothies for around three weeks, taking laxatives and was so malnourished.
‘My stomach was growing at a really fast and alarming rate the last few weeks before my surgery. It was really scary.
‘It was like having a pregnant belly but it was soft and squishy, so it didn’t feel like one. I was bigger than when I was nine months pregnant.
‘People constantly mistook me for being pregnant. I probably got asked over 50 times when I was due or if I was having a boy or a girl.
‘I felt bad because I finally stopped telling people that I wasn’t pregnant because it would make them feel so terrible because I did look pregnant, I would have thought that I was too.’
Kenya said: ‘I have a newborn and two toddlers that I’m keeping up with and taking to all their activities. Physically it was exhausting, especially towards the end.
The TikToker had the surgery at the beginning of November and said that the last time her stomach was measured it was 35cm vertically
Kenya beamed with her husband Mark Smith, 31, who is the president of a pest control company
Since her surgery to remove the cyst, Kenya’s body has returned to her usual figure (pictured left, one day after surgery, and right, four weeks after)
The mother-of-three said she wants to really encourage women to advocate for themselves and push for their health and the things they need
‘When it started to crush my ribs it hurt so badly. Physically it was hard, but mentally I think it was the hardest. I felt like my body was foreign and not my own.
‘I couldn’t get doctors to figure it out, that was the most frustrating part.
‘They’d be like ‘ok, we’ll see you in a month’ after a check-up and I was like ‘let’s not wait a month, let’s figure this out now or tomorrow’.
‘I didn’t ever stop going out but towards the end when I was very large I definitely didn’t go out as much.
‘I didn’t want people to keep asking me how far along I was and when I was going to have this non-baby.
The TikToker had the surgery at the beginning of November and said that the last time her stomach was measured it was 35cm vertically.
She said: ‘I felt really good and like a new person the day after my surgery. The relief I felt was huge.’
The mother-of-three regularly shares TikTok videos about her ovarian cyst, and has amassed over 130,000 likes in the process.
Kenya said: ‘I feel like a lot of times women push through things because we really are so strong.
‘Women handle things well and deal with pain well – we have menstrual periods, cramps, babies and other health things.
‘I think sometimes we push through pain and symptoms but I also want to really encourage women to advocate for themselves and push for their health and the things they need.
‘We know our bodies better than anybody else – better than any doctor or professional.
‘We know when there’s a problem and we can’t let people gaslight us or make us feel like we’re being oversensitive because most of the time we’re not, because women are strong.
‘We deal with a lot of really hard things so when there’s something wrong we need to advocate to get the help we need.’