As we approach the end of this decade, I am sad to report we are still performing almost 700,000 hysterectomies annually; 500,000 are for non-cancerous diseases like Fibroid Tumors, Endometriosis, and Adenomyosis. Many side effects associated with hysterectomy are irreversible and/or negative like: bladder incontinence, constipation, hormone imbalance and sexual dysfunction-no desire or feeling, as well as emotional and psychological damage. If you are interested in a holistic medical approach and want to keep your organs, please do your research. Our practice as been offering women a laser surgical holistic alternative to hysterectomy for over 15 years. Do not agree to a surgery unless you know it is right for you…..
Traditional medicine has routinely rcommended removal of the uterus, hysterectomy, for uterine and ovarian malignancy, however physicians also advocate hysterectomy for benign diseases like fibroids, adenomyosis, and endometriosis. Recent studies (LA Times article, published August 10, 2009 entitled “Staying Fertile after Cancer”) on Stage 1 ovarian cancer patients have found that preserving the uterus and unaffected ovary have the same 5 year survival rates as removing all organs. If medicine is changing to reduce hysterectomies for certain cancers, lets hope they will eventually see the need to prevent hysterectomy for benign diseases as well.
Young women might be able to preserve their fertility despite a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Recent studies, based on a publication this month in Cancer, have found that 5 year survival rates are the same for both patients that remove all female organs (both ovaries and uterus) and those that only removed the affected ovary. This is strictly for early diagnosed Stage 1 (one) malignancies in premenopausal women . This is great news for women hoping to preserve their female organs. Regardless of fertility desires, prematurely removing the uterus and ovaries can thrust women into early menopause. This can expose the woman to all the negative side effects of early castration: hot flashes, dry vagina, osteoporosis, heart disease and early death and dementia. Ask your doctor is you can be a candidate to preserve your female organs.
The complications associated with a hysterectomy, removal of the uterus, are multiple. Up to 75% of women have negative long term effects after this procedure. Most commonly seen are hormone imbalance (even when ovaries are saved), depression, bladder problems with either incomplete emptying of urine or incontinence, constipation and sexual dysfunction. Short of cancer, and sometimes uterine prolapse, we recommend saving the uterus. If you are having monthly problems……or have been diagnosed with a benign disease like fibroids or adenomyosis, treat the diseases but do NOT remove the uterus, especially as the first line of attack.
Many physicians currently advocate hysterectomy as the best form of treatment for
endometriosis. I disagree. Once endometrial cells have implanted within the pelvis,
removing the uterus has no effect on the current condition. Implants need to be destroyed to reduce pain and
cramping…..as long as the patient still has her ovaries, monthly flow of estrogen will fuel
the spread of the existing pelvic implants. Diagnosing and some treatment can be performed via a minimally invasive laparoscope that puts a camera in the abdomen near the belly button. This technique can be effective for treating early stages of Endo. Unfortunately, my practice often sees women with much more severe and advanced cases and the scope has too limited a field of view. An open surgery allows the entire abdomen and pelvis to be examined with laser treatment of all areas, not just those limited with the scope. The best course of treatment in advanced stages is an open surgery, not laparoscopy, with aggressive laser therapy.