Salpingectomy for the Risk Reduction of Ovarian Cancer: Is It Time for a Salpingectomy-alone Approach?

J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2021 Mar;28(3):403-408. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2020.09.020. Epub 2020 Oct 8.


Objective: To summarize published evidence supporting current strategies for the prevention of epithelial ovarian cancer in women with a genetic, elevated risk for the development of this disease, as well as the emerging data on the novel salpingectomy with delayed oophorectomy (SDO) strategy. Furthermore, we will explore whether salpingectomy alone is a viable risk-reducing strategy for these women. We will also discuss current national guidelines for risk-reducing surgery based on patients' individual genetic predisposition.

Data sources: MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Database, with a focus on randomized controlled trials and large prospective, observational studies.

Methods of study selection: The key search terms for our review included Medical Subject Headings: "salpingectomy," "ovarian cancer," and "risk-reducing surgery."

Tabulation, integration, and results: The fallopian tube is now well established as the site of origin for most ovarian cancers, particularly high-grade serous carcinomas. This finding has led to the development of new preventive surgical techniques, such as SDO, which may be associated with fewer side effects. However, until the results of ongoing trials are reported and the impact of SDO on ovarian cancer risk reduction is established, it should not be recommended outside of clinical trials, and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy remains the treatment of choice for risk-reducing surgery, especially in women with a genetic, high risk for ovarian cancer.

Conclusion: The decision to undergo risk-reducing surgery among women with an elevated risk for ovarian cancer should be made after comprehensive consultation and individually based on genetic predisposition, childbearing status, and personal preference.

Keywords: Delayed oophorectomy; High-grade serous cancer; Ovarian cancer; Risk-reducing surgery; Salpingectomy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / prevention & control*
  • Fallopian Tubes / pathology
  • Fallopian Tubes / surgery
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Ovariectomy / methods
  • Prophylactic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Prophylactic Surgical Procedures / trends*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Salpingectomy / methods*
  • Salpingo-oophorectomy / methods