Oophorectomy is a relatively safe procedure that carries a small risk of complications, including:
- Damage to nearby organs
- Rupture of a tumor, spreading potentially cancerous cells
- Retention of ovary cells that continue to cause signs and symptoms, such as pelvic pain, in premenopausal women (ovarian remnant syndrome)
Risks of premature menopause
Women who have yet to undergo menopause will experience premature menopause if both ovaries are removed. This deprives the body of the hormones produced in the ovaries, leading to complications such as:
- Menopause signs and symptoms, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness
- Depression or anxiety
- Heart disease
- Memory problems
- Decreased sex drive
- Premature death
Women who take low doses of hormone replacement drugs after surgery and until about age 50 may reduce the risk of these complications. But hormone replacement therapy has risks of its own. Discuss options with your doctor.
Apr. 16, 2011
- Schorge JO, et al. Surgeries for Benign Gynecologic Conditions. In: Schorge JO, et al. Williams Gynecology. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=514. Accessed Feb. 25, 2011.
- Mikio N, et al. Perioperative consideration in gynecologic surgery. In: DeCherney AH, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment Obstetrics & Gynecology. 10th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2007. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2390832. Accessed Feb. 25, 2011.
- Valea FA, et al. Oophorectomy and ovarian cystectomy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 28, 2011.
- Parker WH, et al. Effect of bilateral oophorectomy on women's long-term health. Women's Health. 2009;5:565.
- Laparoscopy and ovarian cancer: A paradigm change in the management of ovarian cancer? Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. 2009;16:250.
- Medeiros LRF, et al. Laparoscopy versus laparotomy for benign ovarian tumour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2010;CD004751.
- Mettler L, et al. Robotic assistance in gynecological oncology. Current Opinion in Oncology. 2008;20:581.