How is an oophorectomy performed?

There are various ways a surgeon can remove an ovary. Each procedure carries its own risk and recovery time. Your physician will recommend the procedure best for your case.

  • Laparoscopic approach: Considered a minimally invasive approach, the surgeon uses a small camera to look inside of your abdomen. The surgeon may make other small 1-2 cm incisions on your skin to allow removal of the ovary. Laparoscopic surgery has a smaller risk of infection and patients usually recover faster. In some cases, the surgeon may perform the surgery with the assistance of a robotic arm moving the instruments (while the surgeon guides them).
  • Vaginal: This is also considered a minimally invasive approach, with a smaller risk of infection and faster recovery. Vaginal removal of ovaries is usually done at the same time the uterus is being removed through the vagina.
  • Laparotomy: In some cases the surgeon decides that a longer incision is needed on your abdomen to complete the surgery. This incision is known as a laparotomy and your surgeon will tell you which type will be performed. Laparotomies, or bigger incisions, usually have a longer recovery time and higher risk of complications, although these are still low.

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