Ovarian Cysts Treatment Pcos Oophorectomy

Oophorectomy surgery is the removal of one or both of a woman’s ovaries. Ovarian removal is an option for several health conditions, including symptomatic ovarian cysts. If a diagnosis of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) indicates a high risk of ovarian cancer, an oophorectomy procedure may be recommended.

Oophorectomy Procedure Types

Partial oophorectomy surgery is a treatment for ovarian cysts that removes the cysts and adjacent ovarian tissue. This procedure tries to preserve as much ovarian tissue as possible.

Salpingo-oophorectomy removes the fallopian tube, as well as the ovary and any accompanying cysts. If an oophorectomy procedure only removes one ovary and the women retains her other ovary, fertility is unaffected.

An oophorectomy is often performed using laparoscopic surgery, a method that is less invasive than traditional open abdominal surgery.

Ovarian Cysts and Oophorectomy

Surgical treatment for ovarian cysts isn’t always required. In most cases, ovarian cysts disappear over the course of several months without any treatment. However, ovarian cysts may be removed surgically if the cysts cause severe pain or are over 6 centimeters in diameter. A medical professional may also perform an oophorectomy procedure if an ovarian cyst ruptures.

Ovarian removal is a possible treatment option in cases of ovarian cancer. The majority of ovarian cysts, however, are not malignant.

Prophylactic Oophorectomy

Under certain circumstances, physicians may recommend a prophylactic oophorectomy to reduce the risk of ovarian or breast cancer. In such cases, the surgeon will remove both ovaries, performing a bilateral oophorectomy procedure.

The ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These are female sex hormones known to contribute to the growth of ovarian or breast cancer. Prophylactic ovarian removal halts the production of estrogen and progesterone before ovarian or breast cancer develops, aiming to prevent or slow these cancers.

Doctors usually will not recommend a prophylactic oophorectomy unless a woman has an inherited gene mutation related to breast cancer, or a family history of multiple cases of breast or ovarian cancer.

Bilateral Oophorectomy Surgery

Doctors might recommend a bilateral oophorectomy procedure for reasons other than cancer prevention. If both ovaries are affected by ovarian cysts, the situation may require a bilateral oophorectomy surgery. Bilateral oophorectomy is also an option when ovarian cancer is detected.

Ovarian Removal Side Effects

As with any type of surgery, risks involved with an oophorectomy procedure include problems with anesthesia, internal bleeding or infection.

One of the major side effects of a bilateral oophorectomy procedure is infertility. Fertility is not affected unless both ovaries are removed.

Women who undergo bilateral oophorectomy before menopause may enter this phase of life earlier than expected. Symptoms of menopause include:

  • Changes in sex drive
  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep disturbances.

Women who have had ovarian removal surgery also run an increased risk of developing osteoporosis and heart disease. A doctor may initiate hormone replacement therapy to combat these problems associated with the oophorectomy.

Ovarian Cysts Prevention

While there’s no way to prevent ovarian cysts, the best way to avoid the need for an oophorectomy is to have regular pelvic exams. Early detection allows for prompt intervention if cyst-related health problems arise. Women experiencing any symptoms consistent with ovarian cysts should contact their health care providers. Those at high risk of breast or ovarian cancer should also discuss preventative options with their doctors.


Civista Health Staff. (n.d.). The ovaries. Retrieved February 24, 2010, from the Civista Health Web site: http://www.stayinginshape.com/3osfcorp/libv/c03.shtml.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2009). Prophylactic oophorectomy: Preventing cancer by surgically removing your ovaries. Retrieved February 24, 2010, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/breast-cancer/WO00095.

MyOptumHealth Staff. (2008). How is ovarian cancer diagnosed and treated? Retrieved February 24, 2010, from the MyOptumHealth web site: http://www.myoptumhealth.com/portal/Information/item/How Is Ovarian Cancer Diagnosed and Tre?archiveChannel=Home/Article