Question 41

Hysterectomy - Why Does The Doctor Want To Remove My Ovary?

Dr N,

I was reading your web page and I find it very interesting. Two weeks ago I went to my doctor for a pap smear and check up. After being told that I may have a fibroid, I was sent for an ultra sound. The results were given to my Doctor the same day. I got a call from my Doctor and was told that I had a large mass on my right ovary. He spoke to me the next day in his office and told me that my right ovary had tumor on it the size of a cantaloupe. The ultra sound did not show anything else wrong. My Doctor is giving me a choice of removing that one ovary or taking out both ovaries and the uterus. I am not very educated with all this stuff but I am trying to learn more about it very quickly. Not having a period would be great but having to take estrogen medicine all the time makes me a little nervous. I asked him if he could take out one ovary and the uterus and leave the good ovary alone. He said he could either take out just the right ovary or take out both ovaries and the uterus. I have 3 grown children and don't intend to have anymore. I am 41 and in very good physical health. I don't know what to do. Could you answer one question for me? Why would a doctor not want to leave in one ovary? Any opinion you can give me would be very helpful. I may be going for surgery as early as May 8th and I need all the info I can get. Thank you for your time.

 

Reply:

Hi,

I am sorry that you are having this problem and that you find yourself faced with having to make this decision.

Most doctors who recommend that both ovaries be removed, do so because they feel that this prevents the possibility of a future ovarian cancer. Although the incidence of ovarian cancer is not frequent, it is often not discovered until a late stage. On the other hand, leaving the ovary may preclude the necessity of HRT until the time of an expected menopause.

Ultimately, this is a personal decision and there is no wrong or right answer. Read the section of the web site, Ovarian Failure Following Hysterectomy, as it will provide additional insight.

Let me know what and how you do.

Dr N