A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus from a female. There are several different procedures and ways to have the surgery. Similar to a hysterectomy, a lesser known tag along procedure is called an oopherectomy (oh-uh-fuh-rek-tuh-mee), which is the removal of an ovary or both ovaries. Depending on the situation of the patient, they may have an oophorectomy along with a hysterectomy.
An oophorectomy is most often performed due to diseases like cancer or ovarian cysts, or to proactively reduce the chances of cancer developing. The removal of an ovary together with the fallopian tube is called salpingo-oophorectomy or unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (USO). When both ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed, the term is bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO).
A bilateral oophorectomy was once believed to be safer and more beneficial than the chance of developing ovarian cancer, but in recent years it has become more clear that removing the ovaries without an absolute medical need decreases long term survival rates substantially, and has negative long term side effects for the woman’s health and wellbeing.
According to a study in 2008, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the premature loss of ovarian function is associated with several negative outcomes. Studies have revealed an increased risk of premature death, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment or dementia, parkinsonism, osteoporosis and bone fractures, decline in psychological well-being, and decline in sexual function. The effects involve different organs (e.g., heart, bone, or brain), and different functions within organs (e.g., cognitive, motor, or emotional brain functions). Estrogen treatment may prevent some of these negative outcomes, but not all. Read more about this study here.
The benefits of removing the ovaries for cancer prevention should be heavily weighed against the potential risk for other outcomes. At NVSCC we are proud to serve Las Vegas since our practice started in 2005. We encourage women to learn about and spread awareness of hysterectomies so that people can be informed about their bodies and make a choice that’s right for them. Dr. Lynn Kowalski specializes in hysterectomy procedures, specifically the robotic surgical procedure similar to a laparoscopic surgery for minimally invasive procedures and faster healing time. If you are in need of a doctor that can answer your questions about hysterectomies and oophorectomies, Dr. Kowalski is a skilled and compassionate doctor. Visit our website for more information or call 702-739-6467.