Salpingo-oophorectomy is a procedure to remove the fallopian tube (salpingectomy) and ovaries (oophorectomy), which are the female organs of reproduction. Since it requires anesthesia, overnight hospital stay, and removal of body parts, it is classified as major surgery.
It requires 3-6 weeks to heal completely. Laparoscopic salpingo-oophorectomy takes less time for recovery. Some discomfort may persist around the incision for a few days, but most women may start walking by the third day. Women can gradually resume their normal activities, such as driving, exercising, and working within 6 weeks after the doctor’s advice. Women can expect the following things after the surgery:
- You should avoid sharp flexing of the thighs or knees
- Experience persistent back pain or bloody urine indicate an injury to the ureters
- Sudden loss of estrogen may lead to sudden premature menopause leading to hot flashes, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and loss of sex drive
- More likely to develop coronary heart disease and bone thinning (osteoporosis)
- Some form of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) may be recommended to relieve the symptoms of surgical menopause and osteoporosis
- Psychological disorders in case of a previous history of depression and anxiety
Major surgery isn’t devoid of risks. The possible complications of salpingo-oophorectomy include:
- Anesthesia complications like dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and aspiration pneumonitis
- Signs of infections, such as fevers or chills
- Scars at the incision site
- Internal scars
- Pus from the incision
- Redness around the site of incision
- Difficulty in passing stools
- Unresolved pain
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Calf pain
- Leg swelling
- Difficulty in passing urine
What is salpingo-oophorectomy?
Salpingo-oophorectomy is a procedure to remove the fallopian tube (salpingectomy) and ovaries (oophorectomy). If one set of fallopian tubes and ovary is removed, it is known as a unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. If both sets of fallopian tubes and ovaries are removed, it is known as a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
Why is salpingo-oophorectomy performed?
Salpingo-oophorectomy is performed in the following conditions:
- Ovarian cancer
- A genetic mutation that increases cancer chance
- Cancers of other organs in the reproductive system
- Endometriosis (inner lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, ovaries, or cervix)
- Ectopic pregnancy in the fallopian tube (a condition where the embryo implants itself in the fallopian tube)
- Patient requiring hysterectomy (partial or complete removal of the uterus)
- Benign tumors with no ovarian tissue spared
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (infection of the ovaries and surrounding area)
- Torsion of the ovary (a condition where the ovary twist around the connecting stalk)
- Severe pelvic pain that originates in the reproductive organs
- A tubo-ovarian abscess not responsive to antibiotics
How is salpingo-oophorectomy performed?
Salpingo-oophorectomy is performed under general (or rarely regional) anesthesia. The physician makes a cut about 10-15 cm long into the abdominal wall either vertically (extending from pubic bone to the navel) or horizontally (across the pubic hairline). After entering the abdomen, the physician explores the abdomen and pelvis. Using an instrument, the physician retracts the bowel to expose the pelvis.
The physician identifies the ovaries and the fallopian tubes and detaches them. The physician sidelines the ureters as they lie near the ovaries. This procedure is more painful than the laparoscopic one and the healing period is longer. Salpingo-oophorectomy can also be performed with the help of a laparoscope to avoid large abdominal incision and shorten recovery time.
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