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The decision to remove one or both ovaries, either as its own surgical procedure or as part of a hysterectomy or salpingectomy, is a major decision for a woman. As with any surgery, there are risks of side effects associated with surgical removal of organs; however, the good news is these risks are relatively small and most women resume their daily activities within six weeks of the procedure. At Florida Hospital, highly skilled surgeons routinely perform oophorectomies to address painful conditions like endometriosis and life-threatening diseases such as ovarian cancer. 

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An oophorectomy is the surgical removal of one or both ovaries, the almond-shaped organs that sit on either side of a woman’s uterus, contain her eggs and regulate her menstrual cycle. There are two types of oophorectomy: a unilateral oophorectomy, in which one ovary is removed, and a bilateral oophorectomy, in which both are.

This surgery is often done as part of a larger operation—for instance, combined with a hysterectomy (a surgery to remove the uterus) or a salpingectomy (a surgery to remove the fallopian tubes).

This procedure is most often employed for conditions such as a tubo-ovarian abscess (a pocket of pus connected to the fallopian tube and ovary), ovarian cancer, endometriosis, benign ovarian tumors or ovarian torsion. This surgery carries only relatively minor risks of severe side effects, and most women are able to resume their normal activities within six weeks of surgery.

Prognosis for Oophorectomy

In most cases, women who undergo oophorectomy are able to engage in everyday activities within six weeks of surgery. However, this depends on your situation—i.e., the reason for the surgery and how it was performed. Women who undergo robotic or laparoscopic oophorectomies can resume their normal activities sooner, sometimes in just a couple weeks. That said, it is imperative that you discuss your schedule for things like exercise, sex and driving with your surgeon.


Locations for Oophorectomy