Who Needs a Hysterectomy?

Hysterectomy, surgery to remove the uterus and sometimes additional female reproductive organs, is a common procedure in the United States. In fact, doctors perform about 600,000 hysterectomies each year, and about one-third of women will have a hysterectomy by age 60.

Sometimes a hysterectomy is the right treatment. But not all hysterectomies performed are medically necessary. In fact, researchers believe that about 90% of hysterectomies aren’t necessary or could be classified as elective.

At Signature Women’s Healthcare, our board-certified OB/GYNs, Jacquline Hayles-Patterson, MD, and Tyndal M. Jones, MD, provide extensive consultation before recommending a hysterectomy to patients in Lawrenceville and Lithonia, Georgia, and offer alternative modalities for treatment when possible. 

Hysterectomy is the right option for some women, either when other, less-invasive treatments can’t provide relief from troublesome symptoms, or when it’s necessary to save your overall health. Here’s a look at who might need a hysterectomy and why.  

Some patients diagnosed with certain cancers

If you’re diagnosed with cancer in your uterus, ovaries, cervix, or endometrium (the lining of your uterus that thickens during your period), treatment may require a hysterectomy. This is especially true when the cancer has reached an advanced stage.  

Some patients with uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous, muscular tumors that grow in the tissues of your uterus. While benign, these growths are not without troublesome symptoms, including vaginal bleeding, pain, incontinence, and other chronic symptoms.

Less-invasive treatments can help, but for many women fibroids grow back or reappear. If procedures to remove or shrink fibroids don’t provide lasting relief, and you aren’t planning to have more children, a hysterectomy can be your best option. 

Some patients with uterine prolapse

Uterine prolapse occurs when your uterus falls from its usual position above the cervix and moves towards your vagina. If not treated, it can cause problems with urination and bowel movements and trigger feelings of pressure and extreme discomfort.

Before recommending hysterectomy, your provider may recommend less-invasive treatments, including specific exercises and minimally invasive surgical procedures. Sometimes, however, a hysterectomy is the best option — especially if you’re not having more children or if other treatments don’t work well for you.  

Some patients with endometriosis or adenomyosis

When you have endometriosis, the tissue that should line your uterus grows outside of the organ. This condition can lead to severe pain, irregular periods, and sometimes infertility. If hormone replacement therapy and removal of the misplaced lining don’t alleviate your symptoms, you may need a hysterectomy.

As with endometriosis, adenomyosis occurs when the tissue from the lining of your uterus grows in the wrong place. With adenomyosis, the tissue grows into your uterine muscles. Symptoms of adenomyosis include extreme pain and severe bleeding. While this issue generally resolves after menopause, if symptoms are severe, and other treatments don’t provide relief, you may need a hysterectomy.

Some patients with abnormally heavy bleeding

If you’re experiencing chronic abnormal vaginal bleeding that doesn’t respond to hormone therapy and other less-invasive treatments, a hysterectomy may be the only way to resolve this problem. Frequent, abnormally heavy bleeding is associated with other underlying issues that hysterectomy can resolve, such as endometriosis or an infection.

Considering hysterectomy? Contact a medical professional

If you’re considering a hysterectomy, talk to a skilled OB/GYN like the team at Signature Women’s Healthcare. Our providers take into account your overall health, gynecological symptoms, and medical history before recommending any treatment plan. 

If hysterectomy is right for you, you can rest easy knowing Dr. Hayles-Patterson and Dr. Jones have extensive experience performing this sensitive surgery. They take time to answer your questions and address any concerns so you feel comfortable with your decision. 

To learn more about hysterectomy and whether it’s the right treatment for you, call the Signature Women’s Healthcare office nearest you, or book an appointment online now.

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