Patients typically prepare for an ovary removal surgery, known as a unilateral oophorectomy, by restricting food and beverage consumption the day before the procedure, Mayo Clinic states. The doctor also provides a solution the patient must drink to clear out her intestines as much as possible. Depending on the patient, the doctor may also give instructions to stop taking specific medications.
In the days or weeks leading up to an oophorectomy, doctors conduct diagnostic imaging tests, such as CT scans, to evaluate the patient and choose the best options for surgery, according to Mayo Clinic. Although a unilateral oophorectomy involves the removal of only one ovary, patients who need this surgery often have serious conditions that require the simultaneous removal or modification of other organs, such as the uterus or fallopian tubes. With one ovary remaining, most women can still naturally conceive children; however, they may benefit from considering options for conception if they have health problems that may lead to another ovarian or uterine surgery in the future.
Doctors typically perform an oophorectomy when a patient has a pelvic disease, such as ovarian cancer, or diseases triggered by ovarian hormones, such as endometriosis or breast cancer, WebMD notes. Doctors often recommend the procedure for women who need a hysterectomy, or uterus removal, and have high risk factors for other diseases or ovarian problems, such as a genetic predisposition to breast cancer.