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Patient Experience: Oophorectomy

23rd April 2021 by Jack Allan

Patient Experience  Oophorectomy

What was your experience of the period just prior to your oophorectomy?  Was everything explained to you about the type of procedure, options available and what to expect from recovery?


Since diagnosis I always knew I would need to have the oophorectomy, it’s something I was quite nervous about and really wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. 


In March I met with my gynaecologist, he  explained what was involved, where I would be cut and how my ovaries would be removed. He thought the procedure should be pretty straight forward given that I have never had any other operations before and both my children were both born naturally.  He explained the risks but was really unconcerned that there was anything to be worried about. This was a keyhole procedure so he said I would feel better within 2 weeks but it might take a little longer to get my energy levels fully back to normal.


The advantages of being treated privately meant that I was able to arrange the operation 10 days after this consultation so I didn’t have too long to worry about it.


I met both the consultant anaesthetist and gynaecologist in hospital 30 mins before I was taken to the theatre. They understood I was nervous but were very reassuring. I was very emotional when I was taken down but the nurses were lovely and within 5 mins of being there they popped a needle in my hand and I was asleep!

What was your experience of the time just after the procedure?  Did you find recovery difficult?


The operation took just an hour, when I was woken up I felt as though I had had a very strange dream. I wasn’t really aware of much for the hour following. During the evening I felt pretty spaced out and wobbly but I wasn’t in any real pain. I was sore, felt really delicate and my stomach felt extremely bloated. When I stood up and walked around I had pain in my chest but I had been warned about this so I wasn’t worried. During the procedure you are filled with air - whilst they get as much out as possible some does remain in your diaphragm and this causes pain across your shoulders.  


Nurses are always worried about patients being able to go to the toilet after surgery - this wasn’t a problem for me. I needed to pass water pretty much straight away and there was no discomfort - just a bit of embarrassment about having to use a commode!!! 


I did find I was really thirsty afterwards - because a tube is put down your throat during the operation your throat can be a little sore after. I found it really tricky swallowing and eating because of the dryness. This probably lasted a day or so before it was back to normal.

How are you now further on from the procedure?  Did you have any complications or side effects from the procedure?

I am now just 10 days on from my operation. I have had no complications, everything was very straight forward. I felt quite weak and fragile for the first two days and there are still times where I incredibly tired and just need to sleep.  I was advised not to drive for 10 days and to build up exercise slowly. I tentatively removed my dressings after a week, I was nervous to see what was underneath but I was surprised at how clean the wound was despite being pretty bruised. The stitches are dissolvable but I do still have a long thread from my two wounds at the moment.

I think my biggest area of discomfort was my stomach - the bloating kept me awake at night and my tummy was a bit upset. When the hospital called to check up on me they advised I drink peppermint tea to soothe it, this did the trick and it has been fine since.

I am pretty surprised that recovery is so straight forward, aside from having to wear surgical tights for two weeks after there were no major surprises and nothing to worry about.