Oophorectomy (Removal of Ovaries)

Oophorectomy is the process of removing one or both of your ovaries. Your ovaries are almond-shaped and are located on both sides of your womb in your lower abdomen. Your ovaries produce hormones that control your menstrual cycle and include eggs. Ovaries removal surgery can be performed alone in some cases. But it is mostly performed as part of a larger operation for the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) in women who have gone through menopause and in case of gender change. The surgery to remove the ovaries is usually performed in conjunction with nearby fallopian tubes (salpingectomy).

If the surgery to remove the ovaries involves the removal of two ovaries, the procedure is called a bilateral oophorectomy. If the surgery involves only the removal of an ovary, it is called a unilateral oophorectomy.

Why is it Done?

Oophorectomy is applied for:

  • Gender change
  • Abscess in the uterus or ovary – pus-filled sac in the fallopian tube or ovary
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Endometriosis (sagging of the lining of the uterus)
  • Benign ovarian tumors or cysts
  • Reducing the risk in women with high risk of ovarian cancer or breast cancer
  • Ovarian rotation – twisting an ovary

Oophorectomy With Other Procedures

The ovarian removal surgery can be performed in conjunction with other surgeries, including the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy). In women with advanced ovarian cancer, ooophorectomy is most often done with surgery to remove the fallopian tubes called salpingo oophorectomy.


Oophorectomy is a relatively safe procedure with the following minor complication risks;

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Destruction of adjacent tissues
  • Tumor spreading and spreading of potential cancer cells into the body
  • With fluid accumulation in the ovarian cells, it may cause signs and symptoms to persist, such as lower abdominal pain (ovarian residue syndrome) in pre-menopausal women.

How will you prepare?

Your doctor may want:

  • The day before the surgery, drink a solution to clean your digestive system.
  • Stop eating the day before surgery and limit fluid intake.
  • Stop taking certain medications.
  • Take antibiotics to prevent infections.
  • Get an ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) to help the surgeon plan the procedure.

Planning reproduction

If you want to have children, discuss the options with your doctor. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove only one ovary (one-sided ofrectomy). If one of the ovaries is removed, you will still have your menstrual cycle and you can become pregnant naturally.

If both ovaries are removed (bilateral ofrectomy) but your uterus is released, you can become pregnant using assisted reproductive technologies. Ask your doctor to refer you to a reproductive specialist, where you can review the options with you.

During the Oophorectomy

You will receive anesthesia that will put you to sleep during the oscillation. You will not be aware of anything during the process.

Oophorectomy can be done in two ways:

  • Surgery using a large incision. During a traditional (open) oophorectomy, the surgeon makes a cut in your abdomen so that your ovaries can be reached. The surgeon takes each ovary after separating it from blood sources and surrounding tissues.
  • Surgery using multiple small cuts. Laparoscopic surgery involves making three or four small cuts on your abdomen. The surgeon inserts a thin camera through a cut and special surgical instruments from others. The camera transfers images to a monitor in the operating room so that the surgeon can direct the surgical devices. Each ovary is removed from the blood supply and surrounding tissues and placed in a sachet. The bag is pulled out by one of the small cuts in your abdomen.

Laparoscopic Oophorectomy can also be performed with robot support in certain complex cases. During the robot-assisted surgery, the surgeon watches the three-dimensional monitor and uses manual control, which allows surgical devices to perform finger movements.

Whether your surgery is an open, laparoscopic, or robotic procedure depends on your conditions. Laparoscopic or robotic oophorectomy usually provides quick recovery, less pain and shorter hospital stay. But this is not suitable for everyone, and in some cases, surgery that starts as laparoscopy can be turned into open procedure.

After Oophorectomy

After an oophorectomy, you can expect:

  • You can spend a few hours in the recovery room until the effect of anesthesia passes.
  • Depending on your procedure, you will be moved to the hospital room where you will stay for a few hours or a few days.
  • You get up as quickly as possible to speed up your recovery.


How quickly you can return to your normal activities after an oophorectomy depends on your personal situation, including the reason for your surgery and how it was performed. Almost all women can return to all their activities within six weeks after surgery. Women who undergo laparoscopic or robotic surgery can return to all their activities in less time – as early as two weeks after surgery. Our physicians will inform you about exercise, driving, sexual intercourse restrictions and all your activity levels.

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