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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What do I need to know about a laparoscopic oophorectomy?
A laparoscopic oophorectomy is surgery to remove one or both of your ovaries. Your healthcare provider will use a laparoscope (a thin tube with a light and tiny video camera on the end) and small tools to remove your ovaries. He may use a robot (machine) that has mechanical arms to operate the tools. This is called a robotic-assisted laparoscopic oophorectomy.
How do I prepare for a laparoscopic oophorectomy?
- Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may need to stop taking blood thinners, aspirin, or NSAIDs several days before surgery. This may prevent bleeding during or after surgery. You may need blood tests, an x-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound before surgery. These tests will help your healthcare provider plan your surgery.
- You may be given an antibiotic through your IV to help prevent a bacterial infection. You may need to empty your bladder before surgery. This may help your surgeon see your ovaries more clearly during surgery. It may also prevent injury to your bladder during surgery. Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you after surgery.
What will happen during a laparoscopic oophorectomy?
- You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your healthcare provider will make an incision in your belly button and insert a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a long metal tube with a light and camera on the end. Your healthcare provider will also insert other tools through 2 to 3 smaller incisions made at different places on your abdomen. The abdomen will then be inflated with a gas (carbon dioxide). This lifts your abdomen away from your organs and gives your healthcare provider more space to work.
- Your healthcare provider may make more incisions if he uses robot assistance. Your healthcare provider will use small tools to cut and remove one or both of your ovaries. The incisions will be closed with strips of surgical tape, stitches, or surgical glue and covered with bandages. A vaginal pack or sanitary pad may be used to absorb the bleeding. A vaginal pack is a special gauze that is inserted into the vagina and removed before you go home or to a hospital room.
What will happen after a laparoscopic oophorectomy?
Healthcare providers will monitor you until you are awake. You may be able to go home when your pain is controlled, or you may need to spend the night in the hospital. You may have bleeding or discharge from your vagina for several days. You may also feel pain in your shoulder or back. This is caused by the air that is put into your abdomen during surgery. Walk around as soon as you are awake after surgery. This may prevent blood clots.
What are the risks of a laparoscopic oophorectomy?
If both of your ovaries are removed, you may need to take hormone replacement medicine. This will prevent osteoporosis (brittle bones) and symptoms of menopause. Your uterus, bladder, or intestines may be injured during surgery. Problems may happen during your laparoscopic surgery and you may need an open surgery. You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening.
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