Oophorectomy: Explanation, Side Effects & Risk

Oophorectomy: Explanation, Side Effects & Risk

What is an Oophorectomy?

An oophorectomy (spelt as oh-of-uh-REK-to-me) is a procedure to remove one or both ovaries by surgery. The ovaries are almond-like structures located in the pelvis on each side of the uterus. Eggs are situated in your ovaries and produce hormones that control the menstrual cycle in women.

What is an Oophorectomy?

In an oophorectomy when both ovaries are removed it is called as a bilateral oophorectomy and if one of the ovaries is removed it is called unilateral oophorectomy.

If you do not have menopause, removing the ovaries would significantly reduce the number of hormones that circulate in your body, estrogen and progesterone. This operation can stop or slow the development of breast cancers that need these hormones.

Many women choose to keep their eggs because the operating removal of both ovaries immediately causes their body to enter menopause with all the symptoms of menopause: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, difficulty in sleeping, night sweats, mood changes, hair loss, reduced metabolism and weight gain, and dry skin.

Women may experience cardiovascular disease, urinary incontinence and osteoporosis more likely after menopause. Some women choose to maintain their ovaries in order to prevent premature menopause, which often occurs after menopause.

When to get an Oophorectomy?

The ovaries must in certain instances be removed to the patient’s wellbeing, particularly in cases of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer women with strong families often choose to remove the ovaries to prevent ovarian cancer from developing.

The removal of the ovaries is voluntary in many cases, which means that the patient and surgeon make the decision based on medical background, personal history and family histories of the patient.

It is essential that the general risks, complications and side effects that are specific to this procedure are known before elective oophorectomy is done. Before taking your final decision to have this procedure, you need to talk to your surgeon about your unique medical history and wishes.

Some reasons to consider prophylactic oophorectomy

Inherited gene mutations: It could be seen in individuals with slightly higher risks of breast and ovarian cancer due to an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene — two branch genes associated with breast, ovarian cancer and other childhood cancers.

This procedure may also be considered by persons with other inherited gene mutations which increase the risk of ovarian cancer, including Lynch syndrome.

A solid history of the family: This may also be indicated for prophylactic oophorectomy if your family has a long history of breast and ovarian cancer, although no genetic modification is established. You might also be recommended to bear the gene mutation depending on your family background, so you do not want to bear out genetic testing.

Speak to your doctor about the risk factors for breast and ovarian cancer. Your physician may urge you to see a genetic advisor who explores your cancer family history to help you determine whether to consider genetic testing and which genes to include.

Stay set for Surgery

You will possibly undergo multiple tests before planning the operation:

  • Examination physique
  • Checking of blood and urine
  • Imagery checks including a CT or ultrasound scan

Address any medications you take with your doctor. Say if you should avoid taking them before the service. Do not hesitate to inquire about the process and the anticipated result.

Check with your travel insurance so that you have an understanding of the luggage costs if any.

Potential side effects and risks

Side effects of any surgery may include:

  • allergic reaction to anaesthesia
  • infection
  • bleeding
  • blood clots
  • damage to nearby organs

If both ovaries were removed, you’ll likely have symptoms of menopause due to the drop in your levels of estrogen and progesterone. Many women are placed on hormone replacement medication.

Symptoms of menopause may include:

  • hot flashes
  • vaginal dryness
  • changes in sex drive
  • sadness, anxiety, depression

Menopause also means an end to menstruation and the need for birth control.

Serious complications after oophorectomy are rare, but you may be more prone to complications if you have diabetes, are obese, or are a smoker. Report unusual side effects to your doctor right away.

Lateral Effects

In addition to the general side effects of the operation, oophorectomy causes that individuals experience during their recovery, such as the risk of infection:

  • Sterile
  • Menopause including heat/night sweats, fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, etc.

Oophorectomy: Explanation, Side Effects & Risk

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