Friday, October 24, 2008

Be Informed About Women's Health Issues

A few years ago, there was some talk in our town of a rift between certain OB/GYN doctors. One group started looking into the practice of recommending hysterectomies to solve a number of problems, such as heavy bleeding, fibroids, stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. They felt that traditional open abdominal surgery was being used too often to treat problems that could be solved with newer, minimally-invasive procedures.

In fact, these conditions are so common that one-third of women will experience one or more of these conditions in their lifetime due to a variety of factors - most commonly pregnancy and childbirth.

But, the good news is that there are treatment options for these conditions that do, which frequently comes with a higher risk of complications and a longer healing process. Minimally invasive procedures, done quickly and relatively easily, usually require much less time to heal and there's a lot less pain, too. Yet many of us do not even know they exist, as we rely on information from our doctors who may suggest the outdated approaches because they lack the skill to perform the newer, less invasive ones or even because new endoscopic procedures bring less income to the doctor or hospital.

The US News & World reported that, out of the one in four women who receive hysterectomies, approximately 85% are still treated with traditional open abdominal surgical methods, despite the perfection of a decades old laparoscopic procedure that leaves the ovaries and cervix in place.

Be sure to talk to your doctor about this, and possibly get multiple opinions, so you can make the choice that's best for you.

Visit for more information, and a list of doctors who are open to these minimally invasive technologies.

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Sheila said...

The cause behind many women's issues however, are the hormones produces by the ovaries. I myself had a total abdominal hysterectomy in 2003. I had chronic endometriosis, endometrian ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. Laproscopic surgery, hormone treatments and childbirth did not help rid me of these problems as they sometimes do.

I do agree that there are perhaps too many hysterectomies, but as someone who had a few surgeries before the total hyst, I am glad that the doctor and I agreed it was for the best.

The key is to educate yourself and discuss everything in detail with your doctor.

Sarah said...

Yes, you are right, Sheila! I'm glad that you found the solution, and that the dr.s at least tried the other things before hand! But definitely a hysterectomy is sometimes the best treatment! Thanks for the info!