Last Updated: June 8, 2019

Definition - What does Oophoropexy mean?

Oophoropexy is a method of shielding the ovaries from the risks of radiation by surgically separating them from the radiation field. Women who wish to conceive after radiation therapy may consider this procedure as high-energy radiation tends to destroy some or all of the eggs in the ovaries, which negatively impacts the ability to get pregnant. Oophoropexy helps preserve a woman’s fertility by averting damage to the ovaries caused by radiation. It is typically considered to be an easy and reversible procedure.

Oophoropexy is also known as ovarian transposition, ovarian suspension, or ovariopexy.

FertilitySmarts explains Oophoropexy

An oophoropexy is performed prior to the initiation of radiation therapy for cancer. The ovaries and fallopian tubes are separated from the uterus and stitched behind the uterus, close to the wall of the abdomen and away from the radiation field. The abdomen is then covered with a lead shield to protect the ovaries. The ovaries may also be fixed to the side wall of the pelvis or the ovarian ligament may be shortened. The more centrally located the ovaries are, the more they are prone to the harmful effects of radiation.

Ovarian transposition may also be done as an emergency procedure to prevent the recurrence of the rotation of the ovary around the tissues that hold it, a critical condition called ovarian torsion. If not treated, ovarian torsion can interfere with the organ's blood supply, causing ovarian death.

Oophoropexy is a safe procedure; however, some rare complications such as scar tissue formation and recurrence of ovarian torsion have been described in the literature.

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