January 15, 2017 Liza Swedarsky, MD FacebookTwitterPinterestAn Oophorectomy describes the gynecologic procedure performed to remove one or both (bilateral oophorectomy) ovaries. Most women confuse oophorectomy with hysterectomy (removal of uterus and cervix). Removal of the ovaries is a separate procedure. The ovaries are an important source of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone for many years until after menopause. For individuals with suspicious ovarian masses, strong family history of ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or chronic pain, an oophorectomy may be indicated. The oophorectomy is often performed laparoscopically depending on the appearance of the ovaries. A Laparoscopic Oophorectomy is a type of minimally invasive surgery in which small incisions between 0.5 to 1 cm are made on the abdominal wall through which an instrument called a laparoscope can be placed. Absorbable gas, typically carbon dioxide, is used to fill the abdomen to allow space to perform the operation. Small instruments are placed through the small incisions allowing the surgeon to remove one or both ovaries. Patients must receive general anesthesia during the procedure and typically go home the same day. The advantages of laparoscopy over traditional abdominal oophroectomy include a shorter post-operative hospital stay, a shorter recovery interval and less pain. Also since smaller instruments are used. This procedure may also be performed robotic-assisted for women with extensive history of intra-abdominal scarring.