Laparoscopic oophorectomy is the surgical removal of an ovary through keyhole incisions. The removal of an ovary together with the fallopian tube is called salpingo-oophorectomy.
When both ovaries and both fallopian tubes are removed, the term bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) is used.
Oophorectomy is usually performed when a diseased ovary is not required e.g. an ovarian cyst in a post-menopausal woman, or is significantly damaged e.g. a twisted ovarian cyst.
Sometimes non-diseased ovaries are also removed as a prophylactic procedure to prevent ovarian cancer later in life. This is particularly appropriate in women with a family history of ovarian cancer and/or with a genetic predisposition.
Removal of the ovary and its associated fallopian tube requires the ovary to be cut free from its surrounding structures. The ovarian artery is sealed and cut, and the remainder of the attachments are then divided. The ovary is then usually removed from the abdomen through one of the laparoscopic (keyhole) ports.
The operation is usually performed as a day-case; the patient will go home on the same day. Recovery from any surgery varies considerably between individuals. There may be some bruising of the abdominal wall which can take about a week to settle and most women get some aching and mild discomfort for 48 hours; on average women take about three or four days off work and delay driving for 48–72 hours.