Oophorectomy may be used to remove cancerous ovaries, large cysts or abscesses, and endometriosis. Oophorectomies are sometimes performed on pre-menopausal women with estrogen-sensitive breast cancer. In women with a very strong family history of ovarian or breast cancer, the surgery may be performed as a preventative measure.
One ovary, a part of one ovary, or both ovaries may be removed. An oophorectomy may be performed in conjunction with a hysterectomy, a surgery that removes the uterus. The removal of an ovary with a fallopian tube is termed a salpingo-oophorectomy.
For a premenopausal woman, if one ovary is removed, a woman may still get her periods and be able to give birth to babies. If both ovaries are removed, a woman will not menstruate anymore and will not be able to give birth to babies. Removal of both ovaries will cause immediate menopause, referred to as “surgical menopause.” After both ovaries are removed, women that do not have cancer may receive hormone replacement therapy to help ease the hormonal transition.
An oophorectomy may be performed through a horizontal or vertical incision in the abdomen. A horizontal incision may leave less of scar, but a vertical incision allows your surgeon to view inside your abdominal cavity better. A vertical incision is mandatory if cancer is suspected. You will need to stay in the hospital for two to five days follow your procedure. It may take three to six weeks before you can return to your regular activities.
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The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.