Your experience on Side effects on complete removal of ovaries & tubes

I'm 62 and recently been advised that I carry the BRACA1 gene. I am trying to weigh up the pros and cons of having the operation at my age!! Can you please let me know of your experiences on the side effects of the operation long and short term. I would really appreciate your experiences, as my specialist thinks it's all black and white!! I would like to go into it with as much information, first hand experiences that I can gain. Please can you help me. Anxious Spoton x

13 Replies

  • Hi Spoton,

    Are they planning to do it by keyhole surgery do you know and leave your uterus ? If so keyhole surgery isn't too bad , you'll be sore for a couple of weeks but able to do things I'd imagine.

    Assuming you're through the menopause at 62 then unlikely to affect your hormone levels so apart from recovering from the surgery you shouldn't feel much different. I had a laparoscopy in June and was fine to drive the next week, but its different for everyone. Must be hard descion to make , but I suppose all us women here with ovarian cancer would say ' go for it ' . Good luck , hope things go well for you what ever you'd decide .


  • I would certainly say go for it (especially as you probably don't have a surgically induced menopause to look forward to). I would have had everything removed in my 20s if I knew I had any danger of ov. ca., but I never wanted children.

    Presumably at 62 you have had your family, if you were going to. If you are in generally good health and there's no reason to think the surgery will be too much for you, I would say concentrate on getting as fit and strong as you can, then have surgery as soon as.

    I had extensive surgery for 3c at 53, and found it to be the least of the difficulties. It took a few weeks to recover, and a few months to get back to strength, but I was being compromised by chemo, so would think the recovery from surgery should be fairly doable without it.

    Very best wishes, whatever you decide.


  • Many thanks for your replies they are very reassuring.

    I was panicking that I may turn out like shrivelled prune, lose any sexual feelings, and bloat after the op.

    I lost my husband of 40 years with stomach cancer 5 years ago. I have been very fortunate to find a very loving, understanding widower whom I married last June. I then found out in November about the BRACA 1 gene

    I would like some quality time with him

  • Shrivelled prune, I doubt it. You'll probably look younger with less worry and a good rest after the op. I'm 63 now and look much as I ever have, apart from the natural ageing process. In terms of sexuality, there are various preparations and on and off prescription. There are always ways and means.....There's a fact sheet on sexuality on the Ovacome website, too, under 'Resources' if you tell the surgeon that you still wish to experience a normal sex life after the hysterectomy, he/she can make sure the op takes that into account.

    Good luck

    Love W xx

  • Hi Spoton,

    It's a difficult choice, I am sure, but you've been given an important chance to avoid ovarian and possibly breast cancer. If you want to talk things over with a nurse, there is a helpline number on the Ovacome website. The helpline operates from 10 till 5 Monday to Friday. The website is There is a 'contact us' option on there where all the details can be found. If you're through the menopause already you shouldn't find too many side effects. I got over my op quite easily and was back to work after a couple of months. It will be quicker with a keyhole op.

    All the best

    Love Wendy xx

  • Hi Spoton, I had hysterectomy + removal of ovaries, omentum, lymph nodes + spleen when I was 55 (I'm nearly 58 now.) It did take a while to get back to normal but that was partly because I was having chemo before and after. Now I'm pretty much the same as before. I can understand that you are anxious but once it's done you will no longer need to worry and I'm sure you will feel happier.

    You will NOT be a shrivelled prune. Have no fear.

    Very best of luck.

    Love Mary xx

  • Hiya, being newly diagnosed with stage 3c . I will be having a similar operation to yourself after some chemo, followed by more chemo.

    I just wanted to say that at 49, I'm dreading it, but seeing how you are has given me some confidence, thank you

    Love Dawn

  • Best of luck Dawn. Let us know how you are doing.

    Love Mary xx

  • Hi Spoton,

    After a close family member was diagnosed with breast cancer , I found out I carried the BRCA1 Gene. I was told then that as soon as possible over the age of 40 , to have salpingo oopherectomy, which is removal of ovaries and tubes. Like you, I was very concerned , especially as I am nowhere near natural menopause!

    I had the op done by keyhole surgery last April.

    I have had c sections I the past so they made a small incision on either end of my scar and then one in the belly button region. I was really sore for 24 hours then just really tired for a good week. Took two weeks to feel completely better. Other than that have really not suffered at all.

    I do take a form of. HRT as at my age(41) it's not a good idea not to.

    Hope this is helpful to you. Please don't worry about it, its not as bad as the imagination thinks and I think it's really worth. to living with the worry.

    As I presume you are through the menopause, you really shouldn't suffer any symptoms either.

    Best of luck

  • Sorry, meant to say " it's really worth not living with the worry" Typing error!

  • I say go for it I was 64 when I had my debulking op. (horrible name for it) but felt great after 6 weeks general rest I also had chemo. so had that to deal with too. Do not worry sure all will be fine.

    love Jenny xx

  • I had my ovaries removed along with a total hysterectomy & omentectomy at age 58, due to ovarian cancer. As it was a big operation due to having my womb & omentum removed as well, I needed to recover from the whole thing, but I wasn't aware of hormone problems through losing my ovaries, as I was through the menopause anyway. My main feeling I think was relief that they had been able to remove the tumour in the process.


  • I think you've had excellent advice but all from women who have lived with the diagnosis of ovarian cancer which can be a deadly disease so perhaps that experience colours our judgement.

    You're wise to discuss all the implications of surgery. Please don't worry overmuch about the procedure. It's all very manageable and expertly conducted. I for one wouldn't worry overmuch about becoming a prune over and above the threat of losing my life and I just wish I'd had your choices before it was too late. A number of members have married relatively relatively recently and I promise you a hysterectomy hasn't made prunes of us all and doesn't mean we're any less happily married.

    I wish you all the luck in the world with your decision-making and if you go ahead with surgery hope everything goes smoothly for you.

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