Oophorectomy (ovary removal surgery)

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.

When oophorectomy involves removing both ovaries, it's called bilateral oophorectomy. When the surgery involves removing only one ovary, it's called unilateral oophorectomy.

Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect Results

Oophorectomy may be performed for:

  • A tubo-ovarian abscess — a pus-filled pocket involving a fallopian tube and an ovary
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Endometriosis
  • Noncancerous (benign) ovarian tumors or cysts
  • Reducing the risk of ovarian cancer or breast cancer in women at increased risk
  • Ovarian torsion — the twisting of an ovary

Oophorectomy combined with other procedures

Oophorectomy can be done alone, but it is often done as part of a more complete surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy) in women who have undergone menopause.

In women with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, oophorectomy is commonly combined with surgery to remove the nearby fallopian tubes (salpingectomy) since they share a common blood supply with the ovaries. When combined, the procedure is called salpingo-oophorectomy.

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