Ovary Removal (Laparoscopic Oopherectomy)
Ovary Removal (Laparoscopic Oophorectomy) (oh-of-uh-REK-tuh-me) is a surgical procedure to remove one or both of your ovaries. Your ovaries are almond-shaped organs that sit on each side of the uterus in your pelvis. Your ovaries contain eggs and produce hormones that control your menstrual cycle.
Before your Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam
- Blood and urine tests
- Ultrasound—a test that uses sound waves to examine the inside of the body
- CT—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.
Ovary Removal (Laparoscopic Oophorectomy) Procedure
Laparoscopic surgery involves making three or four small incisions in your abdomen.
The surgeon inserts a tube with a tiny camera through one incision and special surgical tools through the others. The camera transmits video to a monitor in the operating room that the surgeon uses to guide the surgical tools. Each ovary is separated from the blood supply and surrounding tissue and placed in a pouch. The pouch is pulled out of your abdomen through one of the small incisions.
Laparoscopic oophorectomy may also be robotically assisted in certain cases. During robotic surgery, the surgeon watches a 3-D monitor and uses hand controls that allow finer movement of the surgical tools.
Whether your oophorectomy is an open, laparoscopic or robotic procedure depends on your situation. Laparoscopic or robotic oophorectomy usually offers quicker recovery, and shorter hospital stay. But these procedures aren’t appropriate for everyone, and in some cases, surgery that begins as laparoscopy may need to be converted to an open procedure during the operation.
After your Ovary Removal (Laparoscopic Oophorectomy)
After oophorectomy, you can expect to:
- Spend time in a recovery room as your anesthesia wears off
- Move to a hospital room where you may spend 23 hours, depending on your procedure
- Get up and about as soon as you’re able in order to help your recovery
- How quickly you can go back to your normal activities after oophorectomy depends on your situation, including the reason for your surgery and how it was performed.
- Almost all women are able to return to full activity by six weeks after surgery. Women who undergo laparoscopic or robotic surgery may return to full activity sooner — as early as two weeks after surgery.
Oophorectomy is a relatively safe procedure that carries a small risk of complications, including:
- Damage to nearby organs
- Rupture of a tumor, spreading potentially cancerous cells
- Retention of ovary cells that continue to cause signs and symptoms, such as pelvic pain, in premenopausal women (ovarian remnant syndrome)
- Small bowel obstruction