Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy: What you should know?

What is Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy?

To put it simply, bilateral salpingo oophorectomy is a surgical procedure in which both the fallopian tubes and both the ovaries are removed from the female body.

You might be aware that ovary is one of major organs of female reproductive system which is responsible for producing female reproductive cells. It is located at both the sides of the uterus. Fallopian tube is a tubular structure which is around 10 cm in length. The egg from the ovaries reaches to the uterus for fertilization through the fallopian tube.

Oophorectomy is the surgical treatment procedure for removing one or both of the ovaries. Unilateral salpingo oophorectomy is the process of removing one of the fallopian tubes and one of the ovaries. Bilateral salpingo oophorectomy is the process of removing both of the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Why is bilateral salpingo oophorectomy done?

A salpingo oophorectomy is advised on different conditions like ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, ovarian torsion, etc. The treatment procedure is advised for chronic inflammation on the fallopian tubes and in infections caused by inflammation in the pelvic region. It can be a part of hysterectomy also. It can be unilateral salpingo oophorectomy or bilateral salpingo oophorectomy depending upon the condition treated.

Majorly, bilateral salpingo oophorectomy is done:

  • To reduce the risks of ovarian cancer
  • If you are diagnosed with certain types of breast cancer
  • When you have certain types of ovarian cysts

How is the procedure done?

The procedure can be performed by a laparoscopic surgery or a laparotomy. In laparotomy, an incision is made on the abdomen through which the surgeon will gain access to the fallopian tube and the ovaries. This type is preferred in case of ovarian cysts of larger mass and also in cancerous tumours. The patient takes around 6 weeks to completely recover post the surgery. She may have to stay at hospital for post-operative care.

Laparoscopy surgery is most commonly used these days for bilateral salpingo oophorectomy. In the procedure, an incision is made near to the belly button through which a lighted slender tube called laparoscope is inserted. The abdominal cavity will be inflated with carbon dioxide gas for the surgeon to get a better view. One or more incisions will be made in the abdominal area to insert the tools and for the removal of the fallopian tubes and the ovaries. The recovery time is shorter in laparoscopic surgery and you can leave the hospital in one or two days.

Risks in bilateral salpingo oophorectomy

  • Although the procedure is not a risky one, it can create the following complications.
  • Internal bleeding
  • A damage in the nearby organs
  • Infection
  • Incision scars
  • A blood clot in the leg

In effect, the bilateral salpingo oophorectomy is similar to surgical menopause in women who have not reached it yet. You may experience the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause when both the ovaries are removed.