|Written by Karen Giblin, Founder and President, Red Hot Mamas|
|Monday, 04 December 2006 06:55|
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. The hysterectomy is the second most frequently performed operation in the United States (following the Cesarean section). Most women who undergo a hysterectomy are between the ages of 35 and 54.
Hysterectomies can greatly benefit women who need them but it is not always necessary. Usually the procedure is elective although in some cases, it is a life-saving, mandatory treatment. A hysterectomy is often required if there is a presence of cancer, large fibroids, extreme uterine prolapse (the falling of the uterus) or heavy bleeding.
Many women have elective hysterectomies thinking it will relieve symptoms affecting their physical and emotional health. Unfortunately, many people view the uterus as being a ‘useless organ’ when women are no longer able to have children and therefore undergo elective surgery.
Before choosing to have a hysterectomy, you should carefully explore hysterectomy- alternatives and less invasive procedures if your condition is not life-threatening. It is your responsibility to understand the benefits, risks and physical and emotional aftermaths of surgery.
If elective, your decision to have this surgery should be well-thought out and well-planned with your healthcare provider to understand all of the possible consequences. A hysterectomy can greatly improve your quality of life but also can have long-term effects on your health, longevity, sexuality and induces surgical menopause.
0.1. Hysterectomy Facts
The following statistics are extrapolations of from the 2000 Census. Numbers may change when the 2010 Census is released.
0.2. Types of Hysterectomies
Not all types of hysterectomy will trigger surgical menopause. See the types of hysterectomies listed below to find out if yours is likely to bring on surgical menopause.
Total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy
Radical (or Wertheim’s) hysterectomy
0.3. Hysterectomy Procedures
Your doctor will discuss the different procedures available for your hysterectomy and help you decide which is best for you. Your options include surgery with the use of one large incision, or multiple small incisions. Regardless, you will receive anesthetics and won't be aware during the actual procedure.
0.4. Partners in Hysterectomy
Red Hot Mamas in collaboration with Bruce Bekkar, MD and Novogyne Pharmaceuticals conducted a national educational initiative for couples’ education regarding hysterectomy—before and after. The program, “Partners in Hysterectomy” launched in October, 2005 at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
If you are interested in exploring this topic more, please read our November, 2004 issue of The Menopause Minute.
0.5. Hysterectomy Questions
Every year, approximately 600,000 women in the U.S. have hysterectomies - and each one of these women has questions, as do their husbands, boyfriends, children and friends.
To learn more about Hysterectomy Preparation & Recovery from other women who have gone through it, view One Woman's Journey, a documentary about the experience of having a hysterectomy..
|Last Updated on Friday, 28 October 2011 15:09|