Oophorectomy is a highly recommended surgery that is used for curing a number of ovarian conditions. Oophorectomy can be defined as a surgical process that involves removal of one ovary or both ovaries. This operative procedure is also known by other names like Ovarian Ablation or Ovariectomy.
Why is Oophorectomy Conducted?
This surgery is conducted for a number of reasons like
Sometimes, Oophorectomy can be carried out with the aid of laparoscopy. A Laparoscopic Oophorectomy involves insertion of a tubular instrument known as laparoscope that consists of a light source and a tiny lens.
A small incision is made in the surface of the navel and the tube is inserted through it. This apparatus also contains a monitor that sends a clear image of the abdominal cavity to a video monitor.
The ovaries, once separated, can be removed through a tiny incision at the upper surface of the vagina. The ovaries may also be removed in an easier manner by cutting them into smaller sections.
Women undergoing this surgery may experience some discomfort in the post-operative stage. The level of discomfort may vary from person to person.
However, these are seen to arise mostly in women with abdominal incisions. This is because, in case of an abdominal incision, the abdominal muscles are excessively stretched to allow surgeons reach the ovaries.
After removal of both ovaries, Hormone Replacement Therapy may be used for women who are not suffering from cancer. This can help alleviate menopausal symptoms that arise due to the absence of estrogen produced by the ovaries. Even if a part of one ovary remains, enough estrogen may be produced to help menstruation continue unabated. However, this is not possible if the woman has her entire uterus removed through a hysterectomy.
Antibiotic drugs may be used to lower any possibility of post-operative infection.
In case of a successful surgery, no complications arise after removal of ovaries. The underlying problem can be brought to a resolution. In the case of individuals having cancer, all cancerous lumps can be successfully removed.
Patients undergoing this surgery require anywhere from 2-6 weeks to get back to normal activities. However, the recovery period may actually depend on the type of Oophorectomy surgery.
When women suffer from cancerous conditions, radiation or chemotherapy is often used in addition to operation. Some women suffer a mental trauma after an Oophorectomy. Support groups and counseling can benefit individuals regain their mental stability.
This surgery may give rise to complications if cancer has spread to other areas of the abdomen. If the surgical process is unable to cure cancer, radiation and chemotherapy may be used for treatment.
In about 20% of all women suffering from acute endometriosis, a complicated condition known as Ovarian Remnant Syndrome may arise after Oophorectomy surgery. This condition is characterized by the development of a pelvic mass and a chronic pelvic pain. This is usually cured by further surgery that aims at removing the remaining ovarian tissue.
Post- Oophorectomy complications may also include hot flashes and changes in sex drive. Removal of both ovaries may also give rise to other menopausal symptoms. It may also increase the risk for osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease in women who do not undergo Estrogen Replacement Therapy. Women who have a history of emotional and psychological problems can suffer from more mental difficulties after the surgery.