Questions to Ask Your Surgeon About Prophylactic Ovary Removal

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If you plan to undergo prophylactic ovary removal, you may wish to ask your surgeon the following questions:

  • How often do you perform prophylactic ovary removal in women who are considered high-risk for ovarian and breast cancer?  
  • How much experience do you have managing the health of high-risk women? In your view, what are the most pressing issues they face after prophylactic ovary removal?
  • How should I prepare for surgery?
  • How long will surgery take?
  • Am I a good candidate for the less-invasive laparoscopic surgery, as opposed to a full abdominal incision?
  • How long will it take to recover?
  • Are there any precautions I should take as I recover? Will you give me written instructions to follow?
  • How would we work together to manage my follow-up care? Would you manage all aspects of that care, or would you prefer that I see another doctor as well? How would the two of you communicate?
  • In your experience with your own patients, what are the common side effects of prophylactic ovary removal?
  • How do you typically manage these side effects?
  • What do you recommend for dealing with the effects of surgical menopause?
  • If I feel that I need to consult with additional medical specialists, will you be able to provide me with referrals?
  • How often would you want to see me after surgery?
  • What should I do if I have problems or questions in between visits? Who in your practice will be able to answer my questions?

In the Breastcancer.org Treatment section, you can learn about ovarian shutdown or removal as a treatment for breast cancer.

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