Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy

ExitCare ImageBilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is the surgical removal of both fallopian tubes and both ovaries. The ovaries are small organs that produce eggs in women. The fallopian tubes transport the egg from the ovary to the womb (uterus). Usually, when this surgery is done, the uterus was previously removed. A bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy may be done to treat cancer or to reduce the risk of cancer in women who are at high risk.

Removing both fallopian tubes and both ovaries will make you unable to become pregnant (sterile). It will also put you into menopause so that you will no longer have menstrual periods and may have menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes. It will not affect your sex drive.


  • Any allergies you have.

  • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.

  • Previous problems you or members of your family have had with the use of anesthetics.

  • Any blood disorders you have.

  • Previous surgeries you have had.

  • Medical conditions you have.


Generally, this is a safe procedure. However, as with any procedure, complications can occur. Possible complications include:

  • Injury to surrounding organs.

  • Bleeding.

  • Infection.

  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs.

  • Problems related to anesthesia.


  • Ask your health care provider about changing or stopping your regular medicines. You may need to stop taking certain medicines, such as aspirin or blood thinners, at least 1 week before the surgery.

  • Do not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours before the surgery.

  • If you smoke, do not smoke for at least 2 weeks before the surgery.

  • Make plans to have someone drive you home after the procedure or after your hospital stay. Also arrange for someone to help you with activities during recovery.


  • You will be given medicine to help you relax before the procedure (sedative). You will then be given medicine to make you sleep through the procedure (general anesthetic). These medicines will be given through an IV access tube that is put into one of your veins.

  • Once you are asleep, your lower abdomen will be shaved and cleaned. A thin, flexible tube (catheter) will be placed in your bladder.

  • The surgeon may use a laparoscopic, robotic, or open technique for this surgery:

  • In the laparoscopic technique, the surgery is done through two small cuts (incisions) in the abdomen. A thin, lighted tube with a tiny camera on the end (laparoscope) is inserted into one of the incisions. The tools needed for the procedure are put through the other incision.

  • A robotic technique may be chosen to perform complex surgery in a small space. In the robotic technique, small incisions will be made. A camera and surgical instruments are passed through the incisions. Surgical instruments will be controlled with the help of a robotic arm.

  • In the open technique, the surgery is done through one large incision in the abdomen.

  • Using any of these techniques, the surgeon removes the fallopian tubes and ovaries. The blood vessels will be clamped and tied.

  • The surgeon then uses staples or stitches to close the incision or incisions.


  • You will be taken to a recovery area where you will be monitored for 1 to 3 hours. Your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature will be checked often. You will remain in the recovery area until you are stable and waking up.

  • If the laparoscopic technique was used, you may be allowed to go home after several hours. You may have some shoulder pain after the laparoscopic procedure. This is normal and usually goes away in a day or two.

  • If the open technique was used, you will be admitted to the hospital for a couple of days.

  • You will be given pain medicine as needed.

  • The IV access tube and catheter will be removed before you are discharged.