Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy for Ovarian Cancer

A bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is the surgical removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes. In addition to treating ovarian cancer, this procedure is sometimes performed as a preventive measure for women who have been identified as having a heightened risk of developing cancer of the ovaries and/or fallopian tubes. Less commonly, a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy may be recommended for patients who have endometriosis, an ectopic pregnancy or benign ovarian cysts.

Some forms of ovarian cancer develop within the linings of the ovaries as a result of the continual rupture and repair process that occurs during ovulation. Other forms, including those often found in women with BRCA gene mutations, begin in the fallopian tubes. For this reason, prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy can help reduce a patient’s ovarian cancer risk. However, it is important for a prospective patient to keep in mind that this surgery will result in immediate menopause, which will have short- and long-term health consequences.

In consideration of these factors, some experts recommend that women with BRCA gene mutations contemplate bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy:

  • Between ages 35 and 40
  • After completing childbearing

A decision to undergo prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is highly personal and complex. Therefore, it is advisable for a patient to consult with multiple experts in both genetics and gynecologic oncology who can thoroughly analyze her risk of developing ovarian cancer and help her make informed risk-management decisions that are best-suited for her individual circumstances and lifestyle.

Women who have questions about bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy can turn to Moffitt Cancer Center, where we take a multispecialty approach to ovarian cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and support. In one location, each patient has access to multiple experts – not just a single physician. Our talented tumor board, composed of highly specialized medical professionals, reviews each new patient’s case in detail and then meets weekly to monitor her progress and refine her treatment plan as necessary.

To learn more about bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and the other ovarian cancer surgery and prevention strategies available at Moffitt’s gynecological clinic, call 1-888-MOFFITT or schedule an appointment online. We do not require referrals.

 

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