What is laparoscopic oophorectomy?

Laparoscopic Oophorectomy
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Laparoscopic oophorectomy: Overview

Oophorectomy (say "oh-uh-fuh-REK-tuh-mee") is a type of surgery. It removes one, both, or part of your ovaries. Your ovaries store and release eggs, which can develop into embryos if fertilized by sperm. They also make sex hormones.

Sometimes the uterus and ovaries are taken out at the same time. And in some cases, one or both of the fallopian tubes are removed too.

You will be asleep during the surgery. The doctor puts a lighted tube (scope) and other tools through small cuts (incisions) in your belly. The scope lets your doctor see your ovaries. If it's too hard to work through the scope, the doctor may make a larger incision. The incisions leave scars that fade with time.

After surgery, you will probably have pain for several days. You might go home the day of surgery or stay in the hospital for several days.

If both ovaries are removed, you can only get pregnant with help from a medical procedure. If you want to use your eggs for a possible pregnancy in the future, talk to your doctor about your options.

How can you care for yourself after laparoscopic oophorectomy?

Activity

  • Rest when you feel tired.
  • Be active. Walking is a good choice.
  • Allow your body to heal. Don't move quickly or lift anything heavy until you are feeling better.
  • Hold a pillow over your incisions when you cough or take deep breaths. This will support your belly and may help to decrease your pain.
  • Do breathing exercises at home as instructed by your doctor. This will help prevent pneumonia.
  • Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex.

Diet

  • You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (unless your doctor tells you not to).
  • If your bowel movements are not regular right after surgery, try to avoid constipation and straining. Drink plenty of water. Your doctor may suggest fiber, a stool softener, or a mild laxative.

Medicines

  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. The doctor will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • Store your prescription pain medicines where no one else can get to them. When you are done using them, dispose of them quickly and safely. Your local pharmacy or hospital may have a drop-off site.

Incision care

  • If you have strips of tape on the cut (incision) the doctor made, leave the tape on for a week or until it falls off.
  • Wash the area daily with warm, soapy water, and pat it dry. Don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. They can slow healing.
  • You may cover the area with a gauze bandage if it oozes fluid or rubs against clothing.
  • Change the bandage every day.
  • Keep the area clean and dry.

Other instructions

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing. For a few weeks, avoid anything that puts pressure on your belly.
  • You may want to use a heating pad on your belly to help with pain.

How do you prepare for a laparoscopic oophorectomy?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your surgery. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don’t have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It’s a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

After laparoscopic oophorectomy: Overview

Laparoscopic oophorectomy is surgery to remove one, both, or part of your ovaries. Your doctor put a lighted tube (scope) and other tools through small cuts in your belly to do this.

After surgery, you may feel some pain in your belly for a few days. Your belly may also be swollen. You may have a change in your bowel movements for a few days.

You may also have shoulder pain for a day or two. This is caused by the air your doctor put in your belly to help see your organs better.

To help with pain, your doctor may prescribe medicines. You may need about 1 week to fully recover. Avoid strenuous activity and lifting anything heavy while you recover. You can ask your doctor when it's okay to have sex.

If you had both ovaries removed, you will start menopause if you haven't already. Your doctor may prescribe you hormone therapy.

What happens on the day of your laparoscopic oophorectomy?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Take a bath or shower before you come in for your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
  • Take off all jewelry and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery center

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. You will be asleep during the surgery.

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