Bilateral salpingo oophorectomy is a surgical procedure to remove both ovaries and both fallopian tubes. Bilateral means both sides, while salpingo means fallopian tube, and oophorectomy means removal of the ovaries. Contrary to previous beliefs, studies have shown that it’s beneficial to save the ovaries as long as possible. In some cases, the ovaries do need to be removed for the health and safety of the patient, such as when there is a malignancy or a family history of cancer, or in cases when the ovaries are septic or have been totally destroyed due to severe endometriosis.
Reduced risk of ovarian cancers when fallopian tubes are removed
A counterintuitive reversal of opinion has also occurred with respect to removing the fallopian tubes. This is because researchers have recently discovered that the majority of ovarian cancers actually begin developing inside the fallopian tubes and not the ovaries. Therefore, if a woman has completed her family and is undergoing pelvic surgery for any reason, it’s a good idea to remove the fallopian tubes because it decreases the risk of ovarian cancer. And because the fallopian tubes are not involved in the production of hormones, this means that women who have them removed have no hormonal disruptions as they would with the removal of the ovaries.