Oophorectomy (Ovary Removal Surgery)

What is an oophorectomy?

An oophorectomy is a surgical procedure that removes one or both of your ovaries.

What are ovaries?

Ovaries are small almond-shaped organs on each side of the uterus in the pelvis responsible for producing the egg cells, also called ova or oocytes.

Upon reaching puberty, a woman's ovaries release an egg through a monthly process called ovulation. The ova are transferred to the fallopian tube where it is possible to be fertilised by a sperm. Thus, the ovaries are the primary reproductive organs of females.

Aside from producing ova, the ovaries also secrete oestrogen and progesterone – the hormones essential in fertility and reproductive development.

Types of oophorectomy

Types of oophorectomy

There are various reasons to remove one or both ovaries. Depending on why you will be needing the procedure, your doctor may recommend one of the following types of oophorectomy:

  • Bilateral oophorectomy – removal of both ovaries
  • Unilateral oophorectomy – removal of one ovary
  • Salpingo-oophorectomy – ovary removal surgery may be done with a salpingectomy because the ovaries and fallopian tubes share a common blood supply.
  • Oophorectomy with hysterectomy – oophorectomy is often performed as part of a larger surgery, such as a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the womb).

Why do you need an oophorectomy?

Your gynaecologist might recommend an oophorectomy to treat:

  • Tubo-ovarian abscess – a pus-filled pocket involving a fallopian tube and ovary
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Endometriosis – when the inner lining of the uterus grows outside it
  • Non-cancerous (benign) ovarian tumours or cysts
  • Ovarian torsion – twisting of an ovary
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Pelvic inflammatory (swelling) disease

An oophorectomy may also be used to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer or breast cancer for high-risk women.

What are the risks of oophorectomies?

While an oophorectomy is a generally safe procedure, there are still risks involved in an ovary removal surgery. Oophorectomy risks and side effects include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Damage to nearby organs
  • Negative reaction to anaesthesia
  • Blood clots
  • Rupture of tumour
  • Infertility (if both ovaries are removed)
  • Heart disease
  • Long-term increased risk of Parkinsonism, dementia, and depressive and anxiety symptoms

Why choose Mount Elizabeth Hospitals?

At Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, we have built a reputation for quality obstetrics and gynaecology care and treatment in Singapore and the region.

Our team of obstetrics and gynaecology specialists are experienced in treating patients with fibroid conditions.

Women undergoing an oophorectomy at our hospitals can recover in the soothing and pleasant ambience of comfortably-furnished rooms in our well-equipped private hospital.

Our obstetricians and gynaecologists

Our dedicated team of ObGyns have the breadth of expertise and experience to treat your condition.

Depending on your condition, you will receive an individualised plan that will maximise your care and treatment outcomes.

This page has been reviewed by our medical content reviewers.

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