Unilateral oophorectomy (also called an ovariectomy) is the surgical removal of an ovary.
If one ovary is removed, a woman may continue to menstruate and have children but if both ovaries are removed (bilateral oophorectomy), menstruation stops and a woman loses the ability to have children.
Oophorectomy is often performed to:
- remove cancerous ovaries
- remove the source of estrogen that stimulates some cancers
- remove a large ovarian cyst
- excise an abscess
- treat endometriosis
In an oophorectomy, one or part of an ovary may be removed or both ovaries may be removed.
When an oophorectomy is done to treat ovarian cancer or other spreading cancers, both ovaries are removed (called a bilateral oophorectomy).
Removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes is performed in about one-third of hysterectomies (surgical removal of the uterus), often to minimise the risk of ovarian cancer.
Oophorectomies are sometimes performed on premenopausal women who have estrogen-sensitive breast cancer in an effort to remove the main source of estrogen from their bodies although this procedure has become less common.
At Kingsbridge Private Hospital our Consultants will be able to advise you on the best form of treatment. In some cases surgery may not be needed and alternative treatments will be offered.
Please visit our Hysterectomy section to find out more about this type of surgery.