Oophorectomy (oh-oaf-uh-REK-tuh-me) is a surgical procedure to remove one or both of your ovaries. Your ovaries are almond-shaped organs that sit on each side of the uterus in your pelvis. Your ovaries contain eggs and produce hormones that control your menstrual cycle.

Oophorectomy can be done alone, but it is often done as part of a larger surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy) in women who have undergone menopause. Oophorectomy is also commonly combined with surgery to remove the nearby fallopian tubes (salpingectomy), since they share a common blood supply with the ovaries. When combined, the procedure is called salpingo-oophorectomy.

When oophorectomy involves removing both ovaries, it's called bilateral oophorectomy. When the surgery involves removing only one ovary, it's called unilateral oophorectomy.

Apr. 16, 2011