Oophorectomy (ovary removal surgery)

Oophorectomy (ovary removal surgery) Procedure, Types & Risks

Oophorectomy is a surgical procedure to remove either one or both of the ovaries. As they entail eggs that are used for reproduction, you can expect that once these are removed, you won’t be able to get pregnant later on.

There are two forms of Oophorectomy:

  • The removal of both the ovaries: this is called the bilateral Oophorectomy

  • The removal of a single ovary: this is called the bilateral Oophorectomy. 

Why is Oophorectomy considered?

Following are the reasons to get this form of surgical procedure:

  • The presence of a tubo-ovarian abscess: A pus filled pocket is present that has both the fallopian tubes and the ovaries involved

  • Ovarian cancer

  • Endometriosis

  • Noncancerous tumours in the ovaries. 

  • Ovarian cysts.

  • For the women with the high risk of ovarian or breast cancer, this procedure is recommended. 

What to do to prepare for Oophorectomy?

Following are the steps you need to take in order to prepare for this procedure:

  • Drink a solution that clears out your intestine. This is to be done in the hospital and is done a day before the surgery.

  • Limit your liquid intake a day before surgery and also, stop eating.

  • You will also undergo some imagine tests in order to prepare for the surgical procedure.

  • You will also need to plan for your stay in the hospital. This stay will entail packing the personal items for the hospital stay.

  • You will be infertile as an obvious consequence of this surgery 

(if you have opted for bilateral Oophorectomy). To that end, look into your options about that. If you want to go through egg freezing process, now is the time.

What are the types of Oophorectomy?

Following are the types of Oophorectomy that are offered by the surgeons:

  • Laparotomy: this process is purely surgical and it involved a long incision and open surgery. Here, the lower abdomen will be opened up and once your ovaries are accessed, they are separated from their blood supply and then they are removed.

  • Laparoscopic: This form of Oophorectomy is minimally invasive and requires small incisions. A laparoscope is inserted through this incision and special surgical tools are used to remove the ovaries from within a small space.

What happens after the surgery?

After the surgery is over with, the following is going to happen:

  • You will have to rest for a while in order to get the anaesthesia removed from the body.

  • Depending upon how serious your procedure was and your recovery time, you might need to stay in the hospital from a few hours to a few days.

  • Once your recovery is complete, you can get up from the bed.

What are the risks of this procedure?

The risks of this procedure include the following:

  • Infection

  • Bleeding

  • The nearby organs can be damaged

  • Tumour can be ruptured, in which case the cancer cells can spread. 

  • There might also be the case of retention of ovary cells. This causes the signs and symptoms like the pelvic pain, premenopausal symptoms might persist.

  • There will be no chance for you to get pregnant on your own if you have gone through bilateral Oophorectomy.

  • There are risks of premature menopause that entail the following:

  • a. Heart disease

  • b. Memory issues

  • c. Decrease in sex drive

  • d. Osteoporosis

  • e. Depression and anxiety.

  • f. Premature death


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Dr. Madhu Goel

Senior Gynecologist and a Senior Consultant

Dr. Madhu Goel is a well renowned senior gynaecologist and a senior consultant at Fortis La femme, New Delhi. She runs a private consultation in Goel’s surgery and Gynea centre and prior to being associated with Fortis; she was a consultant a Rockland Hospital.