Oophorectomy is the surgical removal of the ovaries of a female animal. In the case of non-human animals, this is also called spaying. It is a form of sterilization.

The removal of the ovaries together with the Fallopian tubes is called salpingo-oophorectomy. Oophorectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy are not common forms of birth control in humans; more usual is tubal ligation, in which the Fallopian tubes are blocked but the ovaries remain intact.

In humans, oophorectomy is most usually performed together with a hysterectomy - the removal of the uterus. Its use in a hysterectomy when there are no other health problems is somewhat controversial.

In animals, spaying involves an invasive removal of the ovaries, but rarely has major complications; the superstition that it causes weight gain is not based on fact. Spaying is especially important for certain animals that require the ovum to be released at a certain interval (called estrus or "heat"), such as cats and dogs. If the cell is not released during these animal's heat, it can cause severe medical problems that can be averted by spaying or partnering the animal with a male.

Oophorectomy is sometimes referred to as castration, but that term is most often used to mean the removal of a male animal's testicles.

See also

William Cheselden

William Cheselden (October 19, 1688 - April 10, 1752) was an English surgeon.

Cheselden was born at Somerby, Leicestershire. He studied anatomy in London under William Cowper (1666-1709), and in 1713 published his Anatomy of the Human Body, which achieved great popularity and went through thirteen editions. In 1718 he was appointed an assistant surgeon at St Thomas' Hospital (London), becoming full surgeon in the following year, and he was also chosen one of the surgeons to St George's Hospital on its foundation in 1733. He retired from St Thomas' in 1738, and died at Bath.

Cheselden is famous for his lateral operation for the stone, which he first performed in 1727. He also effected a great advance in ophthalmic surgery by his operation of iridectomy, described in 1728, for the treatment of certain forms of blindness by the production of an artificial pupil. He attended Sir Isaac Newton in his last illness, and was an intimate friend of Alexander Pope and of Sir Hans Sloane.

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopędia Britannica.

Last updated: 03-15-2005 04:24:56