Salpingo denotes the fallopian tubes and oophor denotes ovaries. Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is a surgical procedure to remove both ovaries and fallopian tubes.
The Procedure is done in women with the following conditions:
- Ovarian cancer
- Ectopic (outside the uterus) pregnancy
- Pelvic infection
- Mass formation or tumours in the female reproductive system.
Ovary removal surgery; fallopian tube removal
Fallopian tubes and ovaries in the female reproductive system
The patient is administered anaesthesia and positioned in a lithotomy position. There are three ways of this surgical approach:
- Open abdominal surgery in which a large incision is made across the abdomen. The organs are then visible to the surgeon for removal.
- Laparoscopic approach, where a tube with a small camera and light are inserted through a tiny incision and the organs are removed.
- Robotic approach, where a robotic arm is used to precisely visualise the internal organs through tiny incisions and the organs are taken out.
After the organs are removed, the muscles and skin are sutured back, and a protective dressing is done. A urinary catheter may be applied for 1–2 days. A surgical drain is used to drain out excessive surgical fluids.
- One is advised to undergo a thorough counselling session where the risks and complications of the surgery are explained. The ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed permanently and therefore one may not be able to conceive and bear children.
- Fitness tests are conducted to ensure surgical fitness in terms of heart, lungs, blood volume and type through blood tests, blood sugar analysis, chest x-ray etc. Any medications taken need to be informed to the doctor.
- Once deemed fit, you will need to get admitted one day prior to surgery. The abdominal area is shaved and cleaned, and a 12-hour overnight fasting is mandatory before surgery.
Surgical invasive procedure
A menopausal woman who has undergone this surgery will need close monitoring for osteoporosis and cardiac disease due to the changes in hormone secretion. Bone density scans, blood tests and cardiac monitoring is done to ensure timely management of complications. You will also need to follow up for stitch removal and dressing. The caretaker and patient need to monitor for signs of pain, swelling, discharge and muscle weakness that may occur due to infection and nerve damage respectively and must inform the surgeon immediately.
- Excessive bleeding: Bleeding before and after surgery due to leaks from newly stitched tissues may occur. These are rare but must be considered.
- Infection: The sutures and operated site may get infected due to improper hygiene and swelling after surgery. Regular monitoring and hygiene will keep infection at bay.
- Ureteral injury: Damage to the ureter (passage for urine) may occur during surgery due to the close proximity of the urinary system. Ensuring unrestricted visualisation of the internal organs during surgery may minimise the risk of injury.
- Nerve injuries: Nerve injuries of the limbs may occur during surgery when nerves are lying close to the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
- Sexual dysfunction: This may happen due to the removal of reproductive organs and lack of hormones after surgery.
One can start ambulating as soon as possible. A simple nutritious diet and optimal performance of daily activities are encouraged. Sexual intercourse can be resumed after consultation with a surgeon. It is recommended to undergo a proper counselling session to understand the lifestyle changes one needs to make and potential risks of any desired activity. Individuals with an open abdominal surgery may need a longer stay in the hospital, whereas a laparoscopic or a robotic surgery requires one to stay a day or two in the hospital.