Oophorectomy

Oophorectomy
Oophorectomy
Intervention
ICD-10-PCS 0UB00ZX - 0UB28ZZ
ICD-9-CM 65.3-65.6
MeSH D010052

Oophorectomy play /ˌ.əfəˈrɛktəmi/ (from Greek ᾠοφόρος, ōophóros, "egg-bearing" + ἐκτομή, ektomḗ, "a cutting out of") is the surgical removal of an ovary or ovaries. The surgery is also called ovariectomy, but this term has been traditionally used in basic science research describing the surgical removal of ovaries in laboratory animals. Removal of the ovaries in women is the biological equivalent of castration in males; however, the term castration is only occasionally used in the medical literature to refer to oophorectomy in humans. In the veterinary sciences, the complete removal of the ovaries, oviducts, uterine horns, and the uterus is called spaying and is a form of sterilization.

Partial oophorectomy is a term sometimes used to describe a diverse variety of surgeries such as ovarian cyst removal or resection of parts of the ovaries. This kind of surgery is fertility preserving although ovarian failure may be relatively frequent. Most of the long term risks and consequences of oophorectomy are not or only partially present with partial oophorectomy.

In humans, oophorectomy is most often performed due to diseases such as ovarian cysts or cancer; as prophylaxis to reduce the chances of developing ovarian cancer or breast cancer; or in conjunction with removal of the uterus.

The removal of an ovary together with the fallopian tube is called salpingo-oophorectomy or unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (USO). When both ovaries and both Fallopian tubes are removed, the term bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) is used. Oophorectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy are not common forms of birth control in humans; more usual is tubal ligation, in which the Fallopian tubes are blocked but the ovaries remain intact. In many cases, surgical removal of the ovaries is performed concurrently with a hysterectomy. The formal medical name for removal of a woman's entire reproductive system (ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterus) is "Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy (TAH-BSO); the more casual term for such a surgery is "ovariohysterectomy". The term "hysterectomy" is often used to refer to removal of any part of the female reproductive system, including just the ovaries; however, the correct definition of "hysterectomy" is removal of the uterus (from the Greek ὑστέρα hystera "womb" and εκτομία ektomia "a cutting out of") without removal of the ovaries or Fallopian tubes.

Contents

Technique

When performed alone (without hysterectomy), an oophorectomy is generally performed by abdominal laparotomy or laparoscopy.

Statistics

According to the Center for Disease Control, 454,000 women in the United States underwent this type of operation in 2004.

Indication

Most bilateral oophorectomies (63%) are performed without any medical indication at the same time as hysterectomy (87%).[1] Conversely, unilateral oophorectomy is commonly performed for a medical indication (73%; cyst, endometriosis, benign tumor, inflammation, etc.) and less commonly in conjunction with hysterectomy (61%).[1]

Special indications include several groups of women with substantially increased risk of ovarian cancer, such as high risk BRCA mutation carriers and women with endometriosis who also suffer from frequent ovarian cysts.

Bilateral oophorectomy has been traditionally done in the belief that the benefit of preventing ovarian cancer would outweigh the risks associated with removal of ovaries. However, it is now clear that prophylactic oophorectomy without a reasonable medical indication decreases long term survival rates substantially[2] and has deleterious long term effects on health and wellbeing.[3]

Cancer prevention

Oophorectomy can significantly improve survival for women with high risk BRCA mutations.

For women with high risk BRCA1 mutations prophylactic oophorectomy around age 40 reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer and provides significant and substantial long-term survival advantage. Earlier intervention does not, on average, provide any additional benefit but increases risks and adverse effects.

For women with high risk BRCA2 mutations, oophorectomy around age 40 has a relatively modest benefit on survival; the positive effect of reduced breast and ovarian cancer risk is nearly balanced by adverse effects. The survival advantage is more substantial when oophorectomy is performed together with prophylactic mastectomy.[4][5]

Endometriosis

In rare cases, oophorectomy can be used to treat endometriosis by eliminating the menstrual cycle, which will reduce or eliminate the spread of existing endometriosis as well as reducing the pain. Since endometriosis results from an overgrowth of the uterine lining, removal of the ovaries as a treatment for endometriosis is often done in conjunction with a hysterectomy to further reduce or eliminate recurrence.

Oophorectomy for endometriosis is used only as last-resort often in conjunction with a hysterectomy, as it has rather severe side effects for women of reproductive age and low success rate.

Oophorectomy at age 40 or later might also be used to prevent ovarian cancer although there is currently no evidence that cancer prevention alone is a sufficiently strong indication to justify the surgery.

Partial oophorectomy—ovarian cyst removal not involving total oophorectomy—is often used to treat milder cases of endometriosis when non-surgical hormonal treatments fail to stop cyst formation. Removal of ovarian cysts through partial oophorectomy is also used to treat extreme pelvic pain from chronic hormonal-related pelvic problems.

Risks and adverse effects

Surgical risks

Oophorectomy is a minor surgery and serious complications stemming directly from the surgery are rare. When performed together with hysterectomy it has influence on choice of surgical technique as the combined surgery is much less likely to be performed by vaginal hysterectomy.
A infrequent complication is injuring of the ureter at the level of the suspensory ligament of the ovary.[6]

Long term effects

Oophorectomy has serious long term consequences stemming mostly from the hormonal effects of the surgery and extending well beyond menopause. The reported risks and adverse effects range from premature death,[7][8] cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment or dementia,[9] parkinsonism,[10] osteoporosis and bone fractures, decline in psychological wellbeing,[11] and decline in sexual function. Hormone replacement therapy does not always improve the adverse effects.[2]

Mortality

Oophorectomy is associated with significantly increased all-cause long-term mortality except when performed for cancer prevention in carriers of high risk BRCA mutations. This is particularly pronounced for women who undergo oophorectomy before age 45.[8]

The effect is not limited to women who have oophorectomy performed before menopause, an impact on survival is expected even for surgeries performed up to an age of 65 years.[12] Surgery at age 50-54 reduces the probability to survive until age 80 by 8% (from 62% to 54% survival), surgery at age 55-59 by 4%. Most of this effect is due to excess cardiovascular risk and hip fractures.[12]

Removal of ovaries causes hormonal changes and symptoms similar to, but generally more severe than, menopause. Women who have had an oophorectomy are usually encouraged to take hormone replacement drugs to prevent other conditions often associated with menopause. Women younger than 45 who have had their ovaries removed face a mortality risk 170% higher than women who have retained their ovaries.[8] Retaining the ovaries when a hysterectomy is performed is associated with better long term survival.[7] Hormone therapy for women with oophorectomies performed before age 45 improves the long term outcome and all cause mortality rates.[8][13]

Menopausal effects

Women who have had bilateral oophorectomy surgeries lose most of their ability to produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and lose about half of their ability to produce testosterone, and subsequently enter what is known as "surgical menopause" (as opposed to normal menopause, which occurs naturally in women as part of the aging process). In natural menopause the ovaries generally continue to produce low levels of hormones, especially androgens long after menopause which may explain why surgical menopause is generally accompanied by a more sudden and severe onset of symptoms than natural menopause, symptoms which may continue until natural age of menopause arrives.[14] These symptoms are commonly addressed through hormone therapy, utilizing various forms of estrogen, testosterone, progesterone or a combination of them.

Cardiovascular risk

When the ovaries are removed a woman is at a seven times greater risk of cardiovascular disease,[15][16][17][18][19] but the mechanisms are not precisely known. The hormone production of the ovaries currently cannot be sufficiently mimicked by drug therapy. The ovaries produce hormones a woman needs throughout her entire life, in the quantity they are needed, at the time they are needed in response to and as part of the complex endocrine system.

Osteoporosis

Oophorectomy is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] A potential risk for oophorectomy performed after menopause is not fully elucidated.[25][26] Reduced levels of testosterone in women is predictive of height loss, which may occur as a result of reduced bone density.[27] In women under the age of 50 who have undergone oophorectomy, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often used to offset the negative effects of sudden hormonal loss (e.g., early-onset osteoporosis) as well as menopausal problems like hot flushes (also called "hot flashes") that are usually more severe than those experienced by women undergoing natural menopause.

Adverse effect on sexuality

Oophorectomy does substantially impair sexuality.[28] Substantially more women who had both an oophorectomy and a hysterectomy reported libido loss, difficulty with sexual arousal, and vaginal dryness than those who had a less invasive procedure (either hysterectomy alone or an alternative procedure), and hormone replacement therapy was not found to improve these symptoms.[29] In addition, testosterone levels in women are associated with a greater sense of sexual desire, and oophorectomy greatly reduces testosterone levels.[30]

Managing side effects of prophylactic oophorectomy

Non-hormonal treatments

The side effects of oophorectomy may be alleviated by medicines other than hormonal replacement. Non-hormonal biphosphonates (such as Fosamax and Actonel) increase bone strength and are available as once-a-week pills. Low-dose Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (e.g. Paxil, Prozac) alleviate vasomotor menopausal symptoms, i.e. "hot flashes".[31]

Hormonal treatments

In general, hormone replacement therapy is somewhat controversial due to the known carcinogenic and thrombogenic properties of estrogen; however, many physicians and patients feel the benefits outweigh the risks in women who may face serious health and quality of life issues as a consequence of early surgical menopause. The ovarian hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are involved in the regulation of hundreds of bodily functions; it is believed by some doctors that hormone therapy programs mitigate surgical menopause side effects such as increased risk of cardiovascular disease,[32] and female sexual dysfunction.[33]

Short-term hormone replacement with estrogen has negligible effect on overall mortality for high-risk BRCA mutation carriers. Based on computer simulations overall mortality appears to be marginally higher for short term HRT after oophorectomy or marginally lower for short term HRT after oophorectomy in combination with mastectomy.[34] This result can probably be generalized to other women at high risk in whom short term (i.e., one- or two-year) treatment with estrogen for hot flashes, may be acceptable.

Glossary

See also

References

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oophorectomy — O [ o]*pho*rec to*my, n. [Gr. w, o n egg + fe rein to bear + ? a cutting out.] (Surg.) Ovariotomy. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oophorectomy — [ō΄ō fə rek′tə mē, ō΄əfə rek′tə mē] n. pl. oophorectomies [ OOPHOR(O) + ECTOMY] the surgical removal of one or both ovaries …   English World dictionary

  • oophorectomy — noun (plural mies) Etymology: New Latin oophoron ovary (from o + Greek phoron, neuter of phoros phore) + English ectomy Date: 1872 the surgical removal of an ovary called also ovariectomy …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • oophorectomy — /oh euh feuh rek teuh mee/, n., pl. oophorectomies. Surg. the operation of removing one or both ovaries; ovariectomy. [1870 75; < NL oophor(on) ovary (neut. of Gk oiophóros egg bearing; see OO , PHORE) + ECTOMY] * * * …   Universalium

  • oophorectomy — noun /ˌəʊəfəˈrɛktəmi/ Surgical removal of one or both ovaries. Syn: ovariectomy …   Wiktionary

  • Oophorectomy — The removal of one or both ovaries by surgery. * * * SYN: ovariectomy. [G. oon, egg, + phoros, bearing, + ektome, excision] * * * oo·pho·rec·to·my .ō ə fə rek tə mē n, pl mies the surgical removal of an ovary called also ovariectomy * * * n. su …   Medical dictionary

  • oophorectomy — əʊfÉ™ rektÉ™mɪ n. surgical removal of the ovaries …   English contemporary dictionary

  • oophorectomy — [ˌəʊəfə rɛktəmi] noun (plural oophorectomies) surgical removal of one or both ovaries; ovariectomy. Origin C19: from mod. L. oophoron ovary + ectomy …   English new terms dictionary

  • oophorectomy — oo·pho·rec·to·my …   English syllables

  • oophorectomy — ovariectomy; n. surgical removal of an ovary, performed, for example, when the ovary contains tumours or cysts or is otherwise diseased. See also: ovariotomy …   The new mediacal dictionary

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