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Prophylactic removal of the ovaries minimizes the risk of ovarian cancer in women who are predisposed to it. However, research shows that preventive adnexectomy also reduces the risk of breast cancer by as much as 70 percent. Find out what else you need to know about prophylactic ovariectomy.

Prophylactic removal of the ovariesinvolves the removal of he althy ovaries together with the fallopian tubes.Preventive adnexectomyis considered in carriers of BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations that increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Their risk of developing ovarian cancer is estimated at about 45 percent. It is worth knowing that about 3 percent. of all cases of breast cancer and about 14 percent. all cases of ovarian cancer are caused by a mutation of the BRCA1 gene.

Prophylactic removal of ovaries can also protect against breast cancer

Removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, in addition to almost completely eliminating the risk of ovarian cancer, also reduces the risk of breast cancer. As shown by 10-year studies by specialists from the International Hereditary Cancer Center of the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, the risk of contracting the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women is reduced by as much as 70%.

Prophylactic ovariectomy - when can the procedure be performed?

The indication for prophylactic ovariectomy is the detection of mutations in genetic tests. In the case of women diagnosed with breast and / or ovarian cancer, as well as with the so-called with a family history, the BRCA1 basic study is reimbursed by the National He alth Fund. Other people can undergo an examination in private clinics (the cost is about PLN 260).

Prophylactic removal of ovaries with fallopian tubes is usually performed between the ages of 35 and 40, after the patient has given birth to the planned number of children. Younger women should be under medical care and undergo regular preventive examinations. If the mutation is detected at a later age, it is also recommended.

Prophylactic removal of the ovaries - what does the procedure look like?

Prophylactic ovariectomy is performed on the sameprinciples of uterine removal. In a patient under general or local anesthesia, the doctor makes a horizontal or vertical incision of the abdominal wall. The ovaries are removed first, followed by the fallopian tubes. Preventive adnexectomy can also be performed during a laparoscopic procedure. Then a tube with a camera and a light source is used, which is inserted through a small incision in the navel. The ovaries are removed through a small incision at the top of the vagina. Sometimes the ovaries are cut into smaller pieces to facilitate their removal.


Prophylactic removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes reduces the high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, but not 100%. guarantees that the disease will not arise. Therefore, the procedure does not exempt from regular checkups, such as mammography, breast ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging of the breast. An ultrasound of the reproductive organs is also an important examination, because the cancer may develop after surgery from cells of the peritoneal epithelium, primary cells from the ovary, fallopian tube and peritoneum, as well as ovarian endometriosis “splinter” after their removal.

Prophylactic removal of the ovaries - complications after the procedure

After ovariectomy, an allergic reaction to the administered anesthetic or internal hemorrhage may occur. Blood clots, damage to internal organs, and the development of postoperative infections may also occur.

Prophylactic removal of the ovaries - side effects of the procedure

Symptoms related to menopause usually appear on the first or second day after the procedure: hot flushes, palpitations, intense sweating. This is because after both ovaries are removed, there is almost no estrogen in a woman's body. Therefore, shortly after the surgery, the woman receives hormone supplementation to replace the hormones previously secreted by the ovaries. If the uterus was left behind during the procedure, the woman is given estrogen, progestogen, and sometimes small doses of androgen, the male hormone that affects vital activity and increases libido. Therapy continues until around the age of 51. Otherwise, it may not only lead to premature aging (it is accelerated by 10 years), but also to the failure of many organs, such as the heart (in a woman without ovaries the risk of a heart attack increases), the liver and the pancreas. Osteoporosis can develop much earlier.


After the ovariectomy, you should not completely switch to the so-called phytohormones (active compounds of plant origin). It can only be used when the body is still producing the hormones itselfintercourse, for example, when the woman's body is approaching the menopause. Then they can compensate for hormonal deficiencies. For a patient after ovariectomy, they are too weak.

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