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Salpingo-Oophorectomy

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Consultants who perform this procedure

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Why would I need a salpingo-oophorectomy?

A salpingo-oophorectomy is a procedure that is often carried out to treat ovarian cancer, but there are other conditions it can treat, including:

  • Endometriosis
  • Twisting of the ovary
  • Abscesses
  • Cysts
  • Pelvic infections

There is also a procedure known as a risk reducing salpingo-oophorectomy that is carried out if you are at high risk for developing ovarian cancer (e.g. if there is a history of it in your family).

What symptoms does a salpingo-oophorectomy address?

If you are undergoing a salpingo-oophorectomy because you have ovarian cancer, the hope would be that it would stop the spread of the cancer.

If you are undergoing a salpingo-oophorectomy to treat other conditions, you can expect that the conditions will be addressed through the procedure.

Having a risk reducing salpingo-oophorectomy has been found to be highly effective at preventing ovarian cancer in those who are high risk.

If you are having both of your ovaries removed, you will no longer have periods. The surgery will cause you to go into a so-called surgical menopause, and will mean that you will not produce any more eggs for pregnancy. To combat menopausal symptoms you may need hormone replacement therapy if appropriate for you.

When should you speak to your specialist about a salpingo-oophorectomy?

If you have a history of ovarian cancer in your family, you might decide to speak to your specialist about the possibility of undergoing a salpingo-oophorectomy.

If your specialist has identified that you have one of the conditions listed above, they might begin the discussion about you undergoing a salpingo-oophorectomy if they feel that you would benefit from the procedure.

How is a salpingo-oophorectomy performed?

A salpingo-oophorectomy can take between 30-90 minutes and is performed under either a general or local anaesthetic, depending on which type of procedure you are having done.

A salpingo-oophorectomy can be carried out in the following ways:

  • Abdominal – a vertical or horizontal incision will be made on your abdomen and the fallopian tubes and ovaries will be removed through it
  • Laparoscopic – a few small incisions are made in your abdominal area and the fallopian tubes and ovaries are removed through them using a small tube that is affixed with a camera (laparoscope)

What is the recovery for a salpingo-oophorectomy?

Your recovery from a salpingo-oophorectomy can depend on many factors, and you should discuss this with your surgeon.

If you have had an abdominal salpingo-oophorectomy, you might need to take up to a month off from work. If you have had laparoscopic, you might only need to take two weeks.

After your ovaries have been removed, you will be menopausal and unable to become pregnant naturally.

You and your surgeon will discuss what you can expect after your surgery and what the best options will be for your recovery.

Are there any risks/complications associated with a salpingo-oophorectomy?

As with any medical procedure, it is possible for risks or complications to arise. It is best that you speak with your specialist or surgeon about how best to avoid any adverse reactions.

Some risks that have been associated with a salpingo-oophorectomy are:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clot
  • Damage to surrounding structures (bowel, bladder, uereters)
  • Need for a blood transfusion during the procedure

How can I prepare for a salpingo-oophorectomy?

You should discuss the specific preparations that you should make prior to your salpingo-oophorectomy with your surgeon, as they can vary from person to person.

Prior to your procedure, you might undergo blood tests and a general health assessment.

If you have any questions or concerns about your salpingo-oophorectomy, it is integral to discuss them with your surgeon prior to your surgery.

Are there alternatives for a salpingo-oophorectomy?

Some women can undergo monitoring with saving or take medical treatments for certain conditions but this depends on each case.

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