Oophorectomy is a surgical procedure which is performed to remove one or both of your ovaries. Your ovary is actually like a small walnut-shaped organ on each side of uterus in your pelvis. Ovaries contain eggs and produce hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle.
Oophorectomy can be done alone, but it is often done as part of a larger surgery to remove your uterus which is called a hysterectomy. Oophorectomy can also be performed surgically to remove your Fallopian tubes, called a salpingectomy. This procedure is done because the Fallopian tubes share the same blood supply. Then, what is meant by bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy? When the two procedures (oophorectomu and salpingectomy) are combined, this is called bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy.
The surgery can be done to treat cancer, treat chronic pelvic pain, treat inflammation of the pelvic organs, and remove large ovarian cysts.
Possible complications of the surgery
Complications are rare, but we should realize that no surgery ensures no risk. That is why, before performing oophorectomy, you need to be aware of possible complications including:
- Changes in se**xual behaviour
- Menopausal symptoms (this can happen if both ovaries are removed)
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Damage to internal organs
- The formation of blood clots
And, you should also know some factors that may increase the risk of complications, like the previous pelvic surgery or serious infection, obesity, smoking habit, and diabetes.
The procedures of bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
There are two different methods that can be done to perform the surgery.
- Open surgery
It is done by cutting the abdominal cavity. The incision will be performed horizontally (from side to side) along the pubic hairline, or vertically (up and down) from the navel to the pubic bone. The horizontal incision usually leaves fewer scars. Meanwhile, the vertical incision gives the surgeon a better view of the inside of the abdominal cavity.
During this operation, the abdominal muscles will be moved separately and the blood vessels will be connected. Ovaries, and often Fallopian tubes will be removed. And finally, the incision will be closed using staples or stitches.
- Laparoscopic surgery
Laparoscope is the term to call a device with a small camera at the end. This device will be injected through a small incision near the navel. It will allow the surgeon to see the pelvic organs on the video monitor. A small incision will be created. Through them, special tools will be included that will be used to cut and tie blood vessels and Fallopian tubes. Then, the ovaries will be removed through a small incision at the top of the vagina or in the abdominal wall. The incision will be covered with stitches, which after healing will leave a very small scar.