Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
After surgery a woman will feel discomfort. The degree of discomfort varies and is generally greatest with abdominal incisions, because the abdominal muscles must be stretched out of the way so that the surgeon can reach the ovaries. In order to minimize...
the risk of postoperative infection, antibiotics will be given.
When both ovaries are removed, women who do not have cancer are started on hormone replacement therapy to ease the symptoms of menopause that occur because estrogen produced by the ovaries is no longer present. If even part of one ovary remains, it will produce enough estrogen that a woman will continue to menstruate, unless her uterus was removed in a hysterectomy. To help offset the higher risks of heart and bone disease after loss of the ovaries, women should get plenty of exercise, maintain a low-fat diet, and ensure intake of calcium is adequate.
Return to normal activities takes anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on the type of surgery. When women have cancer, chemotherapy or radiation are often given in addition to surgery. Some women have emotional trauma following an oophorectomy, and can benefit from counseling and support groups.
Oophorectomy (or ovariectomy) is the surgical removal of an ovary or ovaries. In the case of non-human animals, it is also called spaying and is a form of sterilization. Removal of the ovaries in women is the biological equivalent of castration in males, and the term is occasionally used in the medical literature instead of oophorectomy.
In the case of humans, oophorectomies are most often performed due to diseases such as ovarian cysts or cancer; prophylactically to reduce the chances of developing ovarian cancer or breast cancer; or in conjunction with removal of the uterus.
An obstetrician/gynecologist, commonly abbreviated as OB/GYN, can serve as a primary physician and often serve as consultants to other physicians.
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