Oophorectomy (say "oh-uh-fuh-REK-tuh-mee") is surgery to remove one or both of your ovaries. Your ovaries store and release eggs so that you can get pregnant. Ovaries also produce female sex hormones.
Open oophorectomy (laparotomy) can be done to look for or remove ovarian growths or cancer. You also may have one or both fallopian tubes removed. This surgery is called salpingo-oophorectomy. You may also have a hysterectomy to remove your uterus.
You will be asleep during the surgery. You will not feel pain. To do an open surgery, the doctor makes a cut (incision) in your belly. The incision will leave a scar that fades over time. Most women go home 2 to 3 days after open surgery. You can expect to feel better each day, but you will probably need about 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover.
The doctor will remove any growths that he or she can see. The only way to know for sure that a woman has ovarian cancer is with biopsies taken during surgery. Tissue samples will be sent to a lab to see if they contain cancer.
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 or nurse call line 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.
Having surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect and how to safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: October 13, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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