Surprisingly, hysterectomies are the second most performed surgery (after c-sections) in the United States. The CDC reported 11.7 percent of women between 40 and 44 in age had a hysterectomy between the years 2006 and 2010. Six hundred thousand (600,000) are performed each year, and the National Women’s Health Network believes many of those were unnecessary procedures.
Recognizing the value of a woman’s reproductive organs no matter their age, NWHN recommends nonsurgical options. Of course, there are medically necessary hysterectomies, but reasons for those are much fewer, such as life-threatening conditions like:
- Cancer of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, vagina, etc.
- Infection that cannot be treated another way
- Excessive, serious bleeding
- Childbirth complications
If your primary care physician or gynecologist recommends a hysterectomy for you, you are free and encouraged to get a second or third opinion from a specialist, like a gynecological oncologist. Your healthcare provider should explain clearly the type of hysterectomy you are recommended for (if any) as well as answer any of your questions regarding the surgery.
The reason women consider long and hard about having a hysterectomy is because of long term risks. Removal of organs such as the ovaries can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and even earlier death. Ovaries produce the hormone estrogen, and when they’re removed, the loss of estrogen immediately throws the body into menopause. Women also report:
- Urinary tract infections
- Lack of lubrication and decrease in sexuality
- Hormone deficiencies
There are alternative treatments available for endometriosis, fibroids, and other conditions, and you are encouraged to discuss any and all options with your doctor before a hysterectomy is considered. For an expert opinion from our gynecological oncologist, Dr. Kowalski, make an appointment at Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care in Las Vegas, Nevada. To learn more about our services, contact us on our website.