Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Laparoscopic oophorectomy

3-minute read

This page will give you information about a laparoscopic oophorectomy. If you have any questions, ask your GP or other relevant health professional.

You can also download and print a PDF version of this factsheet, with space for your own questions or notes.

What is an oophorectomy?

An oophorectomy is an operation to remove one of or both your ovaries. Needing to remove an ovarian cyst is the most common reason for having an oophorectomy.

What are the benefits of surgery?

A cyst can cause symptoms such as pain, bloating, pressure on your bowel or bladder, and sometimes tiredness. An oophorectomy should improve your symptoms.

Illustration showing a laparoscopic oophorectomy.
A laparoscopic oophorectomy.

Some women have a family history of ovarian cancer so removing their ovaries will remove the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

An oopherectomy may also be performed to treat problems such as a twisted ovary and endometriosis.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Pain is usually controlled with painkillers or by using hormone treatment such as the oral contraceptive pill.

If you have not yet gone through menopause, small cysts can usually be safely left alone.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about 30 minutes.

Your gynaecologist will make several small cuts on your abdomen. They will insert surgical instruments, along with a telescope, inside your abdomen and perform the operation.

Your gynaecologist will separate your ovary and remove it. They may need to place instruments through your vagina to help them remove your ovary.

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • pain
  • feeling or being sick
  • bleeding
  • infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • unsightly scarring
  • developing a hernia in the scar
  • blood clots

Specific complications of this operation

  • damage to structures such as your bowel, bladder or blood vessels
  • developing a hernia near one of the cuts
  • surgical emphysema
  • ovarian remnant syndrome
  • damage to a ureter

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day.

Rest for 1 to 2 days and take painkillers if you need them.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Most women make a good recovery and return to normal activities.

Summary

An oophorectomy is an operation to remove one of or both your ovaries. An ovarian cyst is the most common reason for having an oophorectomy. It is also performed to treat problems such as a twisted ovary and to remove the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
The operation and treatment information on this page is published under license by Healthdirect Australia from EIDO Healthcare Australia and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

For more on how this information was prepared, click here.

Last reviewed: September 2018

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Lynch Syndrome increases cancer risk | Know Pathology Know Healthcare

Lynch syndrome, an inherited genetic mutation that increases a person's risk of developing certain cancers, affects 85,000 Australians but only 5% are diagnosed.

Read more on Know Pathology Know Healthcare website

Menopause Jean Hailes

Menopause is defined as the final menstrual period. It occurs when there has been a change in a woman’s reproductive hormones and the ovaries no longer release any eggs

Read more on Jean Hailes for Women's Health website

Rare Cancers Australia - Directory - Granulose Tumours of the Ovary

Rare Cancers Australia is a charity whose purpose is to improve the lives and health outcomes of Australians living with a rare or less common cancer.

Read more on Rare Cancers Australia website

Menopause what are the symptoms? - Australasian Menopause Society

Menopause occurs when you have not had a menstrual period for 12 months. Menopause is a natural part of life occurring at around age 51 years but can also happen for other reasons

Read more on Australasian Menopause Society website

Ovarian Germ Cell Tumour - Information & Support - CanTeen

An ovarian germ cell tumour is a female specific tumour often called an ovarian teratoma. Learn more about causes, diagnosis and treatments with CanTeen.

Read more on CanTeen website

Cervical Cancers & HPV - Information, Treatment & Support - CanTeen

Cervical cancers affect the entrance to the uterus and include human papillomavirus virus. Learn more about causes, diagnosis and treatments with CanTeen.

Read more on CanTeen website

Uterine Cancers - Information, Treatment & Support - CanTeen

Uterine cancers are condition impacting women that start in the endometrium and muscle layers. Learn more about causes, diagnosis and treatments with CanTeen.

Read more on CanTeen website

Rare Cancers Australia - Directory - Ovarian Epithelial Cancer

Rare Cancers Australia is a charity whose purpose is to improve the lives and health outcomes of Australians living with a rare or less common cancer.

Read more on Rare Cancers Australia website

Premature and early menopause | Jean Hailes

Menopause that happens earlier than the expected age of around 50 years are called premature and early menopause. This may be due to primary ovarian insufficiency where the periods spontaneously stop, as a result of chemotherapy treatment for cancer or s

Read more on Jean Hailes for Women's Health website

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in 1 or both ovaries in a womans reproductive system. The earlier the cancer is detected and diagnosed, the better the outcome.

Read more on WA Health website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo