Ovary and Fallopian Tube Removal

This surgery involves removing a woman's ovaries and fallopian tubes through several small incisions or one larger incision in the lower abdomen.

This surgery involves removing a woman's ovaries and fallopian tubes through several small incisions or one larger incision in the lower abdomen.

The normal female reproductive system has two ovaries, two fallopian tubes and a uterus (womb).

  • The ovaries are where human eggs are made.
  • The fallopian tubes provide a pathway for the eggs to travel from the ovaries to the uterus.
  • The uterus is where a baby grows during pregnancy.

Removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes can be done through several small incisions in the abdomen or one larger incision in the lower abdomen. The ovaries and fallopian tubes may also be removed during a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). A hysterectomy can be performed through an incision in the lower abdomen along the bikini line (straight across or horizontal) or an incision in the area of the belly button (straight down or vertical). It some cases it can be performed using small medical instruments and a camera inserted into three or four small cuts in the abdomen (laparoscopically). The type of incision is based on the reason for the surgery, previous surgeries and patient preference.

  • Removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes is called a salpingo-oophorectomy.
  • A total hysterectomy is a procedure to remove the entire uterus. A partial hysterectomy involves removing only the upper part of the uterus. The cervix (the opening of the uterus) is left in place after a partial hysterectomy.

The ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed either through an incision in the lower abdomen or through three or four small incisions in the abdomen (laparoscopically). Your healthcare provider may recommend they be removed during a hysterectomy if you have cancer of the ovaries, uterus or cervix. It may also be recommended if you have a family history of related cancers.

  • You may need to take hormone supplements if your ovaries are removed and you have not gone through menopause.
  • Hormones can help you avoid the symptoms of early menopause and bone loss.

Prior to surgery, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before surgery. These may include:

  • Medications you should not take before the procedure, such as blood thinners
  • Regular medications you should continue to take on the day of your procedure
  • How many hours you should stop eating and drinking before procedure

If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking. Smoking can interfere with your recovery.

During your surgery, you will receive anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free.

  • General anesthesia is the most common type of anesthesia for this surgery. This is when you are put into a deep sleep and are unable to see, hear or feel anything.
  • Other types of anesthesia may be used during this surgery, but they are less common.

The time it takes to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes depends on what other procedures are being done at the same time. The length of time you spend in the hospital will also depend on what procedures were performed and the reason for those procedures. If the surgery is related to cancer, you may need to spend a longer time in the hospital after the surgery.

  • Recovery typically takes four to six weeks. The recovery may be longer if the surgery was related to a cancer diagnosis.
  • You may need pain medication and help at home while you recover.
  • Don't forget to make arrangements for transportation to and from the facility and help at home.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed?

  • What is the reason for the surgery? What nonsurgical alternatives are available to me? What are the benefits and risks of each?
  • Will I need pap smears in the future?
  • Do I need to take hormone replacement?
  • Is there any special preparation for the surgery? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • What kind of sedation will I have? What are the possible side effects?
  • What are the possible complications to this surgery?
  • How will I feel after the surgery? Will I have to modify my activities?

After your surgery, your healthcare provider should provide:

  • A description of any problems found during the procedure
  • How any problems were addressed
  • What symptoms you should report before your next appointment

You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your gynecologist should also let your primary care physician know the details of your surgery and treatment plan.

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

Removal of Ovary
Removal of Ovaries and Fallopian Tubes
Removal of Fallopian Tube
Ovary Removal
Ovary and Fallopian Tube Removal
Fallopian Tube Removal

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