Oopherectomy - how much did it hurt?

Hi Ladies,

Any of you had an Oopherectomy yet and can anyone give me an honest (warts and all please!) of how long it took to get back to normal? drive? work? etc etc and what sort of level of pain relief if any did you need?

Thanks Ladies!


Hi Ruby,

I had a hysterectomy, bilateral oopherectomy, removal of cervix and falopian tubes in Apr 2008 due to having a 5cm cyst on the left ovary. As I was then nearly 48, they decided to remove everything and found I’d had severe endometriosis for years, undetected.
The op itself I think took about 2 hours and I have a scar from my belly button to my pubic bone, but I had more removed than just the ovaries! I was on self-administerable morphine after the op and I overdosed on it as I am petrified of pain. This was stupid as I ended up with a horrendous headache and sickness. So don’t overdose on the morphine! The first day after the op I was pretty much out of action, second day getting a bit better, third day eating a sandwich, fourth day marching around the ward and fifth day, home! I felt fantastic but did do a bit too much walking around the house etc. and ended up in bed the day after feeling a bit lousy, so the moral of that story is…take it easy! I had staples in my wound which I had to go and get taken out about 5 days after I got home and I also started taking estrogen only HRT because I had terrible night sweats. I went for my post-op check up to the hospital about a month after and was told to come off the estrogen-only HRT right away as it’s meant only for women who have their womb taken away and although I had done, the endometriosis meant there were still bits of the womb lining floating around my insides. I didn’t use any HRT at all after that and just went cold turkey. I did have some sweats and hot flushes. The sweats died down after a month or two and the hot flushes lasted up until only very recently, but they weren’t too bad and certainly not bad enough to entice me back onto HRT.I was back driving four weeks after the op. I was off work a total of 7 weeks.
Can honestly say I have never felt better after having it all removed. No more painful periods ever again. You’ll be fine.
Good luck and God bless.

I had a prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy earlier this year. It was done laparascopically. An absolute doddle. Needed no pain relief and had no discomfort. This procedure is usually done as a day-case at the hospital I attended but I only stayed in overnight because of previous medical history (BC). I was up out of bed as soon as the anaesthetic wore off. They insisted on signing me off work for 2 weeks as I’m in a physically strenuous job but to be honest I was back to normal straightaway. I’m on letrozole so was having night sweats etc. anyway and ovary removal did not worsen these symptoms.

Let me know if you want any further details.

Good luck, I hope it’s as straightforward for you as it was for me.

Hi there i had ooph by keyhole. day op, just had bloated feeling for about 5 days and was back driving within 2 weeks… on tamox so was already suffering hot sweats etc. They did get worse for a short while but did soon settle again and i just plod on now with a hot sweat her and there… really nothing to worry about. hope it all goes well x

Hi I had an ooph by keyhole back in September, and luckily for me it was a doddle also. I was signed off for 2 weeks but could have gone back after 1 really. Was on Tamoxifen before with hardly any side effects, now on Arimidex and no side effects so far.
Hope all goes as well for you as they did for me. xxx

I had a hysterectomy and bso so had uterus, cervix, tubes and ovaries all removed in sept 2010 age 42, as im a brca 2 gene carrier so was at risk of ovarian ca… I had a small 4 inch scar just below my pubic air so you can really see it… I had three nights in hosp… Also had the PCA (patient controlled analgesia) you can’t actually overdose on it as there is a cut out so you cannot have too much however morphine can cause Headaches and nausea so I suspect this what happened in mabelines case.

I get horrendous post op nausea and vomitting after anaesthetic so it doesnt matter how much morphine I have or don’t have cos I feel crappola anyway… Bu that’s just me.

I had my first hot flush when I was still in hosp and they ave never let up since but I just figure having hot flushes are better than having cancer… I was back at work 7 weeks post op.

I did get a bit of an infection five months after my op and ended up in hosp on valentines day with peritonitis but a course of IV antibiotics and I was fine again.

Take care.

Lulu x

Ruby - bear in mind that ovary removal is a really straightforward op (from a surgical and recovery perspective) compared to a full hysterectomy so please don’t be discouraged by people’s accounts of how they felt as a result of having a hysterectomy. There really is no comparison.

Hi Ruby,

I have put for you below the link to the area of this website where oopherectomy and subsequent treatment is discussed, hope you find this helpful.


Jo, Facilitator

Hi Ruby Thursday
I had a BSO on the 29th Nov, stayed in over nite. Apart from being crappola with aneasthetic like Lulu, I had very little pain more of a discomfort and took paracetamol for a few days.
Sweats have got worse but heho
Was driving within 2 weeks and tonite am celebrating after managing to do all my own Christmas shopping including the big Supermarket shop.
Don’t worry too much I am sure you will be fine
Mandy x

May I just pipe in here and ask a question to all of you if you dont mind.

I am also quite worried about my ovaries, my BC is also ER + and I am keen to have them removed. Im 42, still menstruating like clockwork.

Did you meet with any initial resistance by your ONCS about ovary removal. I am so worried about the link between BC & OC and just recently had a CT scan as I was having pelvic pains and pressures which I was so very worried about.

When you had your Oopherectomy did you have this after your initial BC treatments or during. Im due an Mx when my chemo finishes around March/April, would they consider doing it then rather than going back in for another surgery?

Any advice you can provide to enable me to go in armed with a good case would be helpful.

Thank you


Hi Lisa - I was only referred to a gynaecologist for an oophorectomy because of family genetics investigations which showed I could be at high risk of ovarian cancer. As a matter of courtesy and medical protocal the gynaecologist checked with my oncologist that it was OK to do the op but apart from that my oncologist wasn’t invovled, becuuse my GP referred me to the gynaecologist on the strength of what the geneticist had fed back. I encountered no resistance whatsoever from the gynaecologist who was happy to do the ovary op about 18 months after my mastectomy (as he wanted me to have recovered as best I could from the mastectomy and subsequest chemo and radiotherapy).

I don’t think it is usual practice in UK to perform oophorectomy at the same time as a mastectomy unless there were an important clinical reason for doing so - of course you can ask about this and find out what’s appropriate in your case but you may come up against the “not my department” mentality which some surgeons have i.e. breast surgeons are not gynaecologists and vice versa. It might also be worth preparing yourself with some answers in case you encounter some resistance because of the emotional/psychological impact of both of these operations i.e you might be told that the impact of doing both operations together would be too much to cope with. On a completely personal note, I found the loss of a breast pretty tricky to deal with emotionally but really didn’t care at all about the loss of my ovaries. It’s a very personal individual thing though.

I was pushed through the menopause by chemo so was post-menopausal when I had my ovaries removed. My female cousins who have the same risk of ovarian cancer (but have not had breast cancer) were both strongly advised by different doctors to wait until they were a few years past the menopause before considering an oophorectomy.

Good luck, I hope you are able to put forward a case for what you feel will be best for you, your body and your peace of mind, and that you get what’s best for you in the circumstances.

hi Ruby

I was lucky like puffy and jackx mine was very easy. I was referred for the oopherectomy because I had cysts on my ovaries. I also had the fallopian tubes removed. I was scheduled to stay in overnight, but as I had my op mid morning and had held down my tea, been to the toilet and felt OK, as was allowed home about 7 O’clock. I had 2 tiny scars and a soreish belly button, but had no pain at all. I did have some discomfort when I tried to bend down to unload the dishwasher the next day!!! but that was my own fault. I too was told to take 2 weeks off, but felt a bit of a fraud, as I felt 100%. I then drove again. I had one day of hormonal problems, feeling very tearful and hot flushes etc. But they went and never came back!

If the op does go ahead - good luck! (and don’t do any housework!)

I was referred because I am a gene carrier and high risk of ovarian cancer… The NICE guidelines do not recommend oophorectomy as treatment or hormone positive breast cancer as I think it’s very controversial whether it actually reduces you risk of recurrence or not and there are alternatives such as zoladex injections which puts your ovaries to sleep temporarily for the time you are getting it.


Echo what Lulu says, as far as I know oophorectomy not performed in UK as a preventative measure for ER+ BC but would be done if there is a clinical need or as a prophylactic procedure if you’re at high risk of ovarian cancer for some reason.

Thanks Lulu and Puffywhiteclouds
youve answered my question, as I am ER+ and nobody has mentioned my ovaries, I am 39 and chemo stopped my periods 8 months ago. I always wondered why some women have oopherectomies and others dont.

I had oopherectomy in july as I was so worried about BC returning . it took me a year to get a sergeon to do it as not common practice. had day surgery. I was fine driving in a week, doing everyth1ing as normal

what if im adopted (which I am) and have no family medical history? do you think they would perform the gene test to ascertain my risk at all?

Hi ladies,

Thank you all for your comments - I feel better about it now.

I am having an ooph as I have had a recurrence and after chemo and Mx which I have had Ooph is the current recommended treatment for ER+ ladies who are young like me (I am 41)

I tried Zoladex two years ago and carried on having periods - I guess the hormones are strong in me! Already been there and done that with Tamoxifen and had a recurrence so that ticks that one off as an option for me, once I have had the Ooph they are saving the AI’s for if and when the beast has another bash at killing me - hopefully never, but its good to have something in reserve!

I was booked in for an Ooph for primary breast cancer two years ago but was told tamoxifen was just as effective, clearly not for me!

Oh and if chemo stopped your periods there is a good chance you have already been pushed to menopause, therefore no need to get the ovaries out!


Hi folks

Ruby - presume your assertion that “if chemo stopped your periods there is a good chance you have already been pushed to menopause, therefore no need to get the ovaries out!” refers to having this procedure as a preventative against ER+ BC? There would be a need to have ovaries removed post menopause to prevent ovarian cancer in those at high risk of developing it, irrespective of whether they’ve had ER+ breast cancer or not. Best of luck with the op.

LibraLady - under the NHS in UK I don’t think it’s standard to test BC patients for BRCA genetic variations - but I stand to be corrected if things have changed in the past couple of years. You can always ask of course but there are some pretty stringent guidelines around all this and it is not just a straightforward yes/no test, it can be quite a drawn-out process with the chance of inconclusive/ambiguous results as well as false negatives and false positives. Not sure what the position is with genetic testing in the private sector as mine was done under the NHS. Lots of useful threads in the ‘Family History and Genetics’ section of the forum.

Lisa I’m actually a genetic BCN… We don’t tested people who are adopted… We on do gene testing on people who fit the criteria… That is an individual with both breast and ovarian cancer, somebody under 40 with triple neg breast cancer or somebody in a family with 4 breast cancers under age 60 or ovarian at any age in 3 generations… Bilateral cancer counts as two cancers.

We have a number of people who have lost touch with family or who were adopted and therefor don’t fit the criteria for testing… Genetic breast cancer accounts for only 5% of all breast cancers, a further 15% are within families with a strong history and the final 80% are just sporadic and down to unlucky chance… Even at age 20 breast cancer is more likely to be sporadic than genetic.

You can however ask for a referral to genetics if you want to discuss it… And there is the option of going private but the test costs around £3000. There is also a research trial that does testing if somebody has bilateral cancer or there are three breast or ovarian cancers in the family, but it can take about 9 months to get the results.

Lulu xxxx