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How do I Recover from a Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy?

Recovering from a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy involves physical rest, pain management, and emotional support. It's crucial to follow your doctor's post-surgery guidelines, including wound care and activity restrictions. Gradually reintroduce activities as your strength returns. Remember, healing is not just physical; seek support groups for emotional well-being. How will you prioritize self-care during your recovery journey? Continue reading for personalized recovery strategies.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is total removal of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes. This surgery may be necessary if there is significant impairment in these structures, if cancer is present in the ovaries, or if it is part of an elective procedure to prevent cancer. Recovery from this procedure is split into physical and emotional elements, which are not entirely separate. Physical recovery from the wounds of surgery is easiest, but ongoing physical challenges remain because a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy induces surgical menopause by removing the organs that most produce female hormones. This frequently creates sexual dysfunction, premature deterioration of bone, and a variety of psychological issues like depression.

The initial physical recovery from a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy tends to be relatively smooth. The surgery may be performed open or laparoscopically, and it may accompany hysterectomy or be done alone. Laparoscopic procedures without a hysterectomy may offer the shortest recovery time because they are less invasive. Initial recovery time in a hospital might be anywhere from a day to several days, and most women are able to resume regular activities within a few weeks.

Depression and other emotional symptoms can accompany the sudden onset of menopause caused by bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
Depression and other emotional symptoms can accompany the sudden onset of menopause caused by bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

At the same time the body recovers from surgery, changes occur dramatically. If a woman having this procedure is pre-menopausal, she immediately begins menopause, and this is not a gradual process. For most women, reducing symptoms may depend on using hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Paradoxically, HRT can create more problems if certain reproductive cancers were already present, and it may not be used.

Hormone replacement therapy might be used to help treat the symptoms of recovery from bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
Hormone replacement therapy might be used to help treat the symptoms of recovery from bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

With a sudden onset of menopause, often much earlier than would normally occur, comes a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. Hot flashes, depression, anxiety, and changes in skin and hair, bone density, sexual desire or ability to achieve orgasm may be part of this. Depression can be complicated by a sense of loss or sadness about inability to conceive or physical symptoms associated with surgical menopause. In part, HRT may be effective, but it doesn’t necessarily reduce all symptoms.

Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is total removal of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes.
Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is total removal of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes.

For this reason, many doctors advise pre-menopausal women who undergo bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy to seek out psychotherapy after surgery. There may be some benefit to using medications like antidepressants, too, but many of these have sexual side effects that can worsen existing problems. Having a supportive counselor during this time of transition is considered highly advisable to cope with emotional and physical changes.

Hot flashes may be among the symptoms experienced following a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
Hot flashes may be among the symptoms experienced following a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

Some women also find assistance in support groups, since they may meet others like themselves who are experiencing similar sensations and side effects. Small communities may not have that many women who have recently undergone bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy at the same time to make a support group viable, but there are online communities, too. Another option is to read self-help books or websites on this topic, but ultimately, direct interaction with a counselor or therapist is often most beneficial.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent TheHealthBoard contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent TheHealthBoard contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...

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    • Depression and other emotional symptoms can accompany the sudden onset of menopause caused by bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
      By: Photographee.eu
      Depression and other emotional symptoms can accompany the sudden onset of menopause caused by bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
    • Hormone replacement therapy might be used to help treat the symptoms of recovery from bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
      By: Mushy
      Hormone replacement therapy might be used to help treat the symptoms of recovery from bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
    • Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is total removal of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes.
      By: pankajstock123
      Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is total removal of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes.
    • Hot flashes may be among the symptoms experienced following a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
      By: Ana Blazic Pavlovic
      Hot flashes may be among the symptoms experienced following a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
    • A bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy may be performed laparoscopically.
      By: Cosmic
      A bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy may be performed laparoscopically.
    • Women who experience depression after a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy may find that psychotherapy or joining a support group helps.
      By: kmiragaya
      Women who experience depression after a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy may find that psychotherapy or joining a support group helps.