Clinical Pros and Cons with a Hysterectomy

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Clinical Pros and Cons with a Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that is done to remove the uterus and womb. Sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes are also removed. The surgery stops menstruation and makes it impossible for a woman to get pregnant. This is done for a variety of reasons, including cancer, fibroids, endometriosis, abnormal bleeding and structural or tissue disorders. As with any surgical procedure, a hysterectomy carries certain risks, so it's vital to be informed about the pros and cons before electing to go under the knife so that hysterectomy problems can be kept to a minimum.

Pros

One of the main pros of having a hysterectomy is relief from cancer. For a woman with cancer in her reproductive system, removing the affected organs can stop cancer symptoms and give a woman peace of mind again. In some cases, a hysterectomy can be lifesaving.

A hysterectomy is also beneficial for women who experience heavy bleeding during menstruation or due to fibroids. While the procedure is generally considered a last resort, it can stop the symptoms if other methods prove unsuccessful.

Cons

There are many factors to consider before choosing to undergo a hysterectomy. Because it is major surgery, there is a long recovery period, of at least six weeks in many cases. Infection is another side effect of surgery to think about. Because women who have a hysterectomy have their uterus removed, they are unable to become pregnant, and some may face emotional issues associated with this loss. Some women may have symptoms related to changes in hormonal balance and hormone therapy must be used to counteract the loss of reproductive organs.

A 2009 study published in the journal, Obstetrics and Gynecology reports that women who have their ovaries removed face a higher incidence of developing other health problems that lead to death, including heart disease and lung cancer. The study also indicates that removal of the ovaries doesn't have much impact on survival, so it may become an unnecessary procedure in most instances. That doesn't mean that a hysterectomy isn't the right choice, but simply that preserving the ovaries is the best option for most women.

A hysterectomy results in instant menopause, which can have an emotional and sexual impact on a woman's life. Hormone replacement therapy is often used in conjunction with hysterectomy to counteract these issues.

It's best to discuss the pros and cons of a hysterectomy with a doctor extensively and consider the procedure for some time rather than making an impulsive decision to have it done. That way, a woman can be absolutely sure the choice is the right one for her.

 

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Sources

http://www.hystersisters.com/vb2/view_trials.htm
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/146710.php
http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/hysterectomy.html#g
http://www.healthstatus.com/health_blog/wellness/the-pros-and-cons-of-hysterectomy/2/