Oophorectomy: Indications and Complications

Oophorectomy: Indications and Complications | HealthSoul

Oophorectomy is a surgical procedure for the removal of ovary(s) from the body. Ovaries are a part of the female reproductive system; they produce an egg every month which on fertilisation by a sperm may lead to conception. Sometimes the tubes, connecting the ovary to the uterus, are also removed during a surgery called Salpingo-oophorectomy.

Procedure of Oophorectomy

Oophorectomy is generally performed under general anaesthesia. You will be unconscious during the procedure and will not feel any pain. The surgery can be conducted in two different ways:

  • Laparotomy: in this procedure, after the effects of anaesthesia sets in your surgeon will make an incision in your lower abdomen and carefully dissect through the layers beneath your skin to read the ovary. The ovary will then be separated from the surrounding tissue and blood vessels and removed from the body.
  • Laparoscopic: for this procedure your surgeon will make small incisions in your abdomen to insert a tube with a camera and light source accompanied by surgical instruments. The camera transmits the video to a screen. The ovary will be separated from the surrounding tissue and blood vessels and placed in a pouch, which is removed through the small incision.

Preparation for Oophorectomy

Your provider would like to know about all the medications you have been taking; you might be asked to stop taking some of them before the surgery. A CT scan or a USG may be requested to help your surgeons plan your surgery. Before the day of the surgery you will be requested to stop consuming solid for 8 hours before the surgery. If you are having both your ovaries removed but wish to have children in the future, inform your doctor about it; you will be advised to consult a fertility specialist.

Indications for Oophorectomy

Indications for an oophorectomy are:

Indications for Oophorectomy

Complications of Oophorectomy

Oophorectomy is a relatively safe procedure. Complications that may be encountered are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection at site of surgery
  • Damage to nearby organ during surgery
  • Rupture of tumour leading to spread of cancer.

Recovery after Oophorectomy

Following the surgery you will be continuously monitored as the effects of anaesthesia wear off. You will be allowed to return home a few days after the surgery. If you are of pre menopausal age and have had to remove both the ovaries you will experience an early menopause with symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness and reduced sexual drive. These symptoms can be controlled by taking hormone pills regularly as prescribed by your doctor. Most individuals who have undergone a laparotomy can resume normal activities in six weeks. The recovery time for individuals who have undergone a laparoscopic surgery is two weeks.


  • ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 89. Elective and risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy. Obstet Gynecol.  2008; 111(1):231-41 (ISSN: 0029-7844)
  • Oophorectomy vs ovarian conservation with hysterectomy: cardiovascular disease, hip fracture, and cancer in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. Arch (ISSN: 1538-3679)