(Ovariectomy; Salpingo-Oophorectomy; Bilateral Oophorectomy; Oophorectomy, Bilateral)
Oophorectomy is the removal of one or both ovaries. This may be combined with removing the fallopian tubes (salpingo-oophorectomy). Removal of the ovaries and/or fallopian tubes is often done as part of a complete or total hysterectomy.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have an oophorectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications. These include:
Changes in sex drive
Hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause if both ovaries are removed
Depression and other forms of psychological distress
Reaction to anesthesia
Blood clots, particularly in the veins of the legs
Damage to other organs
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Previous pelvic surgery or serious infection
Be sure to discuss the risks with your doctor before the surgery.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
Blood and urine tests
Ultrasound —a test that uses sound waves to examine the inside of the body
CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body
Leading up to your procedure:
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
Eat a light dinner the night before the procedure. After midnight, do not eat or drink anything, including water.
Arrange for a ride home and for help at home.
General anesthesia may be used for open or laparoscopic surgery—You will be asleep.
Local anesthesia may be used for a laparoscopic procedure—The area will be numbed.
Description of Procedure
There are two different methods:
A cut will be made. It will either be horizontal (side to side) across the pubic hair line, or vertical (up and down) from navel to pubic bone. Horizontal incisions leave less of a scar. Vertical incisions provide a better view inside the abdomen. The abdominal muscles will be pulled apart. The surgeon will be able to see the ovaries. The blood vessels will be tied off. This will help to prevent bleeding. The ovaries, and often the fallopian tubes, will be removed. The cut will be closed with staples or stitches.
The laparoscope is a thin tool with a tiny camera on the end. It will be inserted through a small cut near the navel. This will let the surgeon see the pelvic organs on a video monitor. Other small cuts will be made. Special tools will be inserted through these cuts. The tools will be used to cut and tie off the blood vessels and fallopian tubes. The ovaries will be detached. They will then be removed through a small incision at the top of the vagina. The ovaries may also be cut into smaller sections and removed through the tiny cuts in the abdominal wall. The cuts will be closed with stitches. This will leave small scars.
A salpingectomy may be performed for several different reasons. Removal of one tube (unilateral salpingectomy) is usually performed ifthe tube has become infected (a condition known as salpingitis).