A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that uses a small lighted tube put into the belly through a small cut to look at the organs and tissues inside the belly. This procedure may be done to remove one or both ovaries. The ovaries are part of your reproductive system. They make important female hormones. They also make and store eggs.
Recovery from a laparoscopy is usually quicker than if your ovaries are removed through a bigger cut in your belly (open abdominal surgery).
When is it used?
There are many reasons why you might need to have one or both ovaries removed. For example, you may have:
Abnormal growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus (endometriosis)
Fluid-filled sacs (cysts) in or on an ovary
Abnormal growth (tumor) on an ovary
Scar tissue (adhesions) that affects your ovaries and other organs
Infection in an ovary
Ask your healthcare provider about your choices for treatment and the risks.
How do I prepare for this procedure?
Make plans for your care and recovery after you have the procedure. Find someone to give you a ride home after the procedure. Allow for time to rest and try to find other people to help with your day-to-day tasks while you recover.
Follow your provider’s instructions about not smoking before and after the procedure. Smokers may have more breathing problems during the procedure and heal more slowly. It is best to quit 6 to 8 weeks before surgery.
You may or may not need to take your regular medicines the day of the procedure. Some medicines (like aspirin) may increase your risk of bleeding during or after the procedure. Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines and supplements that you take. Ask your healthcare provider if you need to avoid taking any medicine or supplements before the procedure.
Your healthcare provider will tell you when to stop eating and drinking before the procedure. This helps to keep you from vomiting during the procedure.
Follow any other instructions your healthcare provider gives you.
Ask any questions you have before the procedure. You should understand what your healthcare provider is going to do. You have the right to make decisions about your healthcare and to give permission for any tests or procedures.
Talk to your provider about what happens after the procedure, such as:
Caring for your surgical wound
Taking medicines to relieve pain, prevent infection, or treat other problems
Avoiding some activities for a while
Symptoms or problems to watch for and what to do if you have them
When you can return to your normal activities
When you should come back for a checkup
What happens during the procedure?
This procedure is usually done in a surgery center or hospital.
You will be given a local, regional, or general anesthetic before the procedure to keep you from feeling pain. Local and regional anesthesia numb part of your body while you stay awake. You may be given medicine with the local or regional anesthetic to help you relax. General anesthesia relaxes your muscles and you will be asleep.
Your healthcare provider will make a small cut near your bellybutton. Your healthcare provider will put the laparoscope through the cut. Your provider may put other tools through other small cuts in your belly. Your provider will remove 1 or both of your ovaries and may remove or take samples of any abnormal tissues that are found during the procedure. Samples of tissue will be sent to the lab for testing.
At the end of the procedure your provider will remove the scope and any other tools, and close the cuts.
The procedure may take 30 minutes to 2 hours or more, depending on what your provider does during the procedure.
What happens after the procedure?
After the procedure you may stay in a recovery area for a few hours or overnight, depending on what was done during the procedure.
You may have some pain, nausea, vomiting, or constipation after the procedure. Your healthcare provider may give you medicine or recommend other ways to treat these problems.
If both ovaries are removed, your body will stop making female hormones and you will start menopause. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine, such as hormone therapy, to help relieve some of the symptoms of menopause. You will not be able to get pregnant if both ovaries are removed.
What are the risks of this procedure?
Every procedure or treatment has risks. Some possible risks of this procedure include:
You may have problems with anesthesia.
You may have infection or bleeding.
Other parts of your body may be injured during the procedure
Your provider may not be able to remove the ovary with laparoscopy. Your provider may need to make a larger cut in your belly to complete the surgery.
Ask your healthcare provider how the risks apply to you. Be sure to discuss any other questions or concerns that you may have.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2013-11-06 Last reviewed: 2013-10-07
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Laparoscopy to Remove the Ovaries: References
Lentz,G., R. Lobo, D. Gershenson, V. Katz. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Mosby Elsevier, 2012.
Schorge, J., J. Schaeffer, L. Hoalvorson, B. Hoffmen, K. Bradshaw, F. Cunningham. Williams Gynecology. 1st ed. The Mcgraw Hill Companies, Inc. 2008.