Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) is the surgical removal of both ovaries and both fallopian tubes. This procedure is often performed by abdominal laparoscopy, using a thin, lighted camera and surgical tool inserted through a small incision, typically in the belly button. Other small incisions may be necessary in the lower abdomen for the organs’ removal.
Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy may be an option to reduce the risk for ovarian and breast cancer, particularly in women with BRCA gene mutations. In such cases, prophylactic mastectomy may be performed at the same time as a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. To reduce the need for future procedures, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy may be performed on healthy ovaries and fallopian tubes at the time of another surgery, such as a hysterectomy. Women who have certain types of ovarian masses or cysts also may be candidates.
Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy causes sterility and may trigger surgical menopause, causing long-term side effects because of the hormonal disruptions involved. Patients undergoing this procedure should talk to their doctor to understand the related risks and side effects.