An Oophorectomy describes the gynecologic procedure performed to remove one or both (bilateral oophorectomy) ovaries. Most women confuse oophorectomy with hysterectomy (removal of uterus and cervix). Removal of the ovaries is a separate procedure. The ovaries are an important source of estrogen and testoterone for many years until after menopause. For individuals with suspicious ovarian masses, strong family history of ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or chronic pain, an oophorectomy may be indicated.
A Laparoscopic Oophorectomy is a type of minimally invasive surgery in which small incisions between 0.5 to 1 cm are made on the abdominal wall through which an instrument called a laparoscope can be placed. The laparoscope allows the surgeon to visualize inside the abdomen and pelvis. The abdominal cavity is able to be visualized by filling it with an absorbable gas, typically, carbon dioxide. Small instruments can be placed through the small incisions allowing the surgeon to remove one or both ovaries. Patients must receive general anesthesia during the procedure and typically go home the same day.
The advantages of laparoscopy over traditional abdominal oophroectomy include a shorter post-operative hospital stay, a shorter recovery interval and less pain. Also since smaller instruments are used. This procedure may also be perform robotic assisted for women with extensive history of intra-abdominal scarring.