Ovarian remnant syndrome occurs in patients who have had one or both ovaries surgically removed, but have small pieces of ovarian tissue left behind. These remnants of ovarian tissue, which can initially be microscopic, respond to hormonal stimulation, and can grow, become cystic, or hemorrhage producing pain. Ovarian remnants can reimplant anywhere in the abdominal cavity including the bowel and ureters.
Ovarian remnants do not respond well to hormonal therapy and usually require surgery in the form of an operative laparoscopy for removal. Although these surgeries can be challenging due to the presence of extensive adhesions and scar tissue from previous surgeries, the improved visualization and accessability afforded by laparoscopy make localization and removal of the remnant safer and more successful.