Oophorectomy refers to the surgical removal of the ovaries, the reproductive organ that produces female sex hormones and stores and releases eggs for fertilization.

Oophorectomy is often recommended when a person is affected by pelvic diseases, such as ovarian cancer or severe endometriosis. The ovaries are sometimes removed in an attempt to reduce the potential risks of developing a disease, such as ovarian cancer. This is known as a Prophylactic Oophorectomy.

What are the reasons to have an oophorectomy?

Some of the conditions or diseases include

Inherited diseases : Women who have certain inherited abnormal genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 are highly vulnerable to developing ovarian cancer. These women generally tend to develop cancer around 45 years, which is in fact 20 years earlier than women who do not possess these genes. Hence, if your mother or sister has had ovarian cancer, or if you are aware that you have an abnormal BRCA gene, removing your ovaries is strongly recommended to avoid further risks. However, you will not be able to become pregnant after this surgery. You should talk to your doctor to decide if this is the right option for you.

Breast cancer : Oophorectomy may minimize the risk of breast or ovarian cancer in women who have the inherited abnormal genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2. Oophorectomy is, at times. recommended for the treatment of breast cancer, because it completely eliminates the hormones produced by the ovaries.

Suspected disease : A premenopausal woman may have one of her ovaries removed because of a suspected disease, Removal of both ovaries might be strongly recommended if the disease is diagnosed and confirmed.

Oophorectomy Surgery can be performed using two methods:

Traditional (open) Oophorectomy: During a traditional (open) oophorectomy, the surgeon creates an incision in your abdomen to smoothly access your ovaries. The surgeon then separates each of the ovaries from the blood supply and the tissue that encompasses it. The ovaries are thus removed.