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Ovary Removal Surgery (Oophorectomy)

Underlying Problem Requiring Ovary Removal Surgery:
An ovary removal surgery, also called an oophorectomy or ovariectomy, is an operation in which one or both of these reproductive organs is removed from a patient. It is usually performed in order to treat diseases such as ovarian cancer, although there are other indications, such as for ovarian cysts or ectopic pregnancies. Ovary removal surgery may also be performed as part of a process to prevent ovarian or breast cancer in patients at risk for these diseases.

Ovary removal surgery is generally performed laparoscopically. If the ovary is removed in conjunction with a Fallopian tube is called a salpingo-oophorectomy. If both ovaries are to be removed, the surgery is called a bilateral oophorectomy.

If the ovary removal surgery requires an abdominal incision, it will usually be done under a general anesthetic. A laparoscopic procedure will probably call for a local anesthetic. In the case of an open surgery, the doctor will make a ten to fifteen centimeter incision along the pubic hairline (for a horizontal incision) or from the navel to the pubic bone (if a vertical incision). The abdominal muscles will then be spread apart so the doctor can tie off the blood vessels and remove the ovary.

If the procedure is a laparoscopic one, then a few small incisions will be made to allow the insertion of a camera and the small tools required to tie off the vessels and remove the ovary.

Recovery from Ovary Removal Surgery:
An ovary removal surgery with an abdominal incision will often result in a hospital stay of two to five days. If the procedure is done laparoscopically, patients can expect to remain for about a day. When both ovaries are removed in a bilateral oophorectomy, hormone replacement therapy may be required to mitigate the onset of menopausal symptoms. Antibiotics will be prescribed, and the patient will likely not have a complete return to daily activities for two to six weeks. In addition, some women encounter emotional distress after ovary removal surgery and may benefit from counseling.

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