The number of women who had their ovaries removed unnecessarily by disgraced obstetrician Dr Michael Neary could be almost double the initial estimates.

Patient Focus is encouraging patients of Dr Neary, who had their ovaries removed between 1974 and 1998 and who were under 40 years of age at the time, to contact them in advance of the start of the redress scheme.

The redress board will place ads in the National press over the coming days calling on affected women to contact them. Women will then have 60 days to make an application for compensation.

The Lourdes Hospital Inquiry, chaired by Judge Maureen Harding Clarke, was set up to examine the unusually high number of caesarean hysterectomies performed in the Lourdes Hospital by Dr Neary over a 25 year period.

The Inquiry also found he had performed an unusually high number of bilateral oophorectomies. This is an operation where a woman's two ovaries are removed.

On examination of the medical records, many of those operations were found to be unnecessary, however many of those affected are unaware of this fact.

Arising from the Harding Clarke Inquiry, the Minister for Health setup the Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme to compensate the women affected.

The redress board will place ads in the national press over the coming days requesting women affected to contact them.

However the board will not be contacting the 57 women it has already identified as having their ovaries removed unnecessarily.