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J Pediatr Surg. 2004 May;39(5):750-3.

Ovarian torsion in children: is oophorectomy necessary?

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Division of Pediatric General Surgery, Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Most pediatric surgeons perform oophorectomy in girls presenting with ovarian torsion in which the ovary appears necrotic. However, the adult gynecology literature suggests that many ovaries can be treated by detorsion alone.


All children with ovarian torsion on the gynecology and general surgery services between 1988 and 2002 were reviewed.


There were 36 torsions in 34 children. Seventeen underwent detorsion with or without ovarian cystectomy, and 19 had oophorectomy (mean age 10 years in both groups). Torsion was suspected preoperatively in 94% of the detorsion cases and in 47% of the oophorectomy patients. Median time from presentation to surgery was significantly lower in the detorsion than the oophorectomy group (median 14 v 27 hours; P =.04). Postoperative complications and length of stay were similar between the 2 groups. Despite the ovary being judged intraoperatively as moderately to severely ischemic in 53% of the detorsion cases, follow-up sonogram or ovarian biopsy available in 14 of the 17 cases showed normal ovary with follicular development in each case.


Simple detorsion was not accompanied by an increase in morbidity, and all patients studied had functioning ovarian tissue on follow-up despite the surgeon's assessment of the degree of ovarian ischemia. Detorsion is the procedure of choice for most cases of ovarian torsion in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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