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Ovarian Remnant Syndrome (ORS)

From the Separate Surgeries Articles List

Ovarian Remnant SyndromeI had a bilateral oophorectomy but a recent ultrasound indicates I have an ovary. Has anyone ever heard of a regenerating ovary? Can an ovary really grow back? What do I do now?


Shockingly enough, ovaries can grow back! While they don't regenerate whole, fully-formed ovaries that make follicles, they can regenerate ovarian masses that secrete hormones. The phenomenon is called Ovarian Remnant Syndrome (ORS).

In fact, any type of glandular tissue, including adenoids and tonsils, can grow back. All it takes is a few stray cells left behind during surgery. Because glandular tissue is kind of spongy or fluffy, it can be virtually impossible for a surgeon to know with certainty that every single cell was removed. If even a tiny bit of ovary is left behind, it can re-grow and even produce estrogen.

Those with extensive adhesions, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) may have a higher risk for ORS. Adhesions in particular can cause pieces of the ovary to be inadvertently left behind on the organ to which they had been attached.

Symptoms of ORS can include chronic pelvic pain, cyclic pelvic pain, difficult or painful intercourse, and painful urination and bowel movements. A lack of surgical menopause symptoms may also indicate there is an estrogen producing remnant present.

To help diagnosis ORS, your doctor may order an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI to try to detect the remnant. Blood work to check your FSH (follicle-stimulating hormones) and estradiol levels may also be needed.

Treatment options for ORS can include surgery to remove the “new” ovary, GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) agonist such as Lupron to suppress the ovary, birth control pills to stop the function of the ovary, or pain medications to manage any pain symptoms.



This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

08-19-2011 - 05:58 PM


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