Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Open Oophorectomy: Before Your Surgery
Facebook Tweet Email Share

Main Content

Open Oophorectomy: Before Your Surgery

Female pelvic organs

What is an oophorectomy?

Oophorectomy (say "oh-uh-fuh-REK-tuh-mee") is a type of surgery. It removes one or both of your ovaries. Your ovaries store and release eggs so that you can get pregnant. They also make female sex hormones.

This surgery can be done for many reasons. Your doctor may want to look for or remove ovarian growths or cancer. Or your doctor may want to take out one or both fallopian tubes. Sometimes the uterus is also removed.

You will be asleep during the surgery. To do the surgery, the doctor makes a cut in your belly. This cut is called an incision. Then the doctor removes your ovaries and any growths that are seen. Next, the doctor closes the incision with stitches. The incision leaves a scar that fades over time.

Tissue samples from any growths that are found will be sent to a lab to check for cancer. This is called a biopsy.

Most people go home 2 to 3 days after surgery. You can expect to feel better each day. But you will probably need about 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How do you prepare for surgery?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your surgery. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Take a bath or shower before you come in for your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
  • Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery centre

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. You will be asleep during the surgery.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
  • You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter Y548 in the search box to learn more about "Open Oophorectomy: Before Your Surgery".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.