Are you considering hysterectomy surgery? What options do I have?

Are you considering hysterectomy surgery?
Hysterectomy is defined surgical removal of the vital organ called the uterus.

After a hysterectomy, a woman can no longer have children and her menstruation stops. Some hysterectomies also include the removal of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes which is called total hysterectomy.

It is true that some doctors recommend hysterectomies that can not be justified and without trying other types of treatments or alternatives. In general, women will be asked to consider hysterectomy surgery if they have:

• cancer of the uterus,
• chronic pelvic pain,
• cancer of the ovaries,
• pelvic adhesions,
cancer of the cervix,
• severe uterine prolapse,
• very heavy bleeding,
• colon or bladder cancer that may have spread to the uterus,
• urine flow out of the kidneys that is blocked by fibroids, or

Most women do not want a hysterectomy they don't need. When is this hysterectomy surgery really necessary and what are the alternatives?

Hysterectomy is a very lucrative procedure for most physicians, hospitals, health insurances and the pharmaceutical companies.

As one of the most common surgeries among women, hysterectomy is second only to Caesarean section. About one in three women in the United States has had a hysterectomy by the time she reaches age 60.

There are three possible reasons where hysterectomy surgery could prolong your life or improve your quality of life:

• 1- The first being that you have malignant cancer and you need the surgery to save your life. If you have cervical cancer, ovarian cancer or cancer of the uterus, you will be recommended to have a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy surgery, natural hormone therapy and perhaps radiation treatments may be required.

• 2- Abnormal uterine bleeding to the point where it is life threatening and you also experience severe anemia. The entire controversy begins right here - some doctors like Dr. Stanley West (of the former St. Vincent's Hospital in NYC) will recommend hysterectomy surgery for abnormal uterine bleeding only when a woman has uterine cancer.

Dr. John R. Lee recommends that you use bioidentical natural progesterone cream to stop hormone imbalance and abnormal uterine bleeding.

You may resolve your problem without involving surgery...unless cancer is involved of course!

Fibroids and endometriosis can also be effectively helped with natural progesterone cream supplementation, exercise, reducing stress and reducing calories.

Dr. Scott Goodwin and Dr. Michael Broder believe that if your 'uncontrollable bleeding is life threatening, where you are experiencing severe anemia, dizziness and chronic exhaustion, you should have hysterectomy surgery'.

If you think you might want to become pregnant at some future point, ask your doctor about alternatives to the hysterectomy surgery or don't hesitate to go for a second opinion.

Some questions to ask your doctor before hysterectomy surgery:

• Please explain the reasons why I am bleeding?
• What options do I have as far as treatment?
• Do I have any other alternatives besides surgery or hysterectomy?
• What will be the side effects of a hysterectomy?
• What are my health consequences if I decide against treatment?
• How many surgeries of this type have you performed?
• How many of your surgeries have resulted in complications?
• What is your philosophy regarding preserving the uterus and the ovaries?
• How will this procedure affect my sex life?

What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Menopause by John R. Lee and Virginia Hopkins

This classic bestseller that has helped nearly a million women discover the answer to menopause is now revised and updated.

Hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, low sex drive, hair loss, fibroids, endometriosis and osteoporosis - most women will experience these or other hormone- related problems at some point as they age.

In clear, easy-to-understand language, an internationally recognized expert explains the benefits of using progesterone and other natural hormones to reduce or eliminate menopausal symptoms safely and effectively - without the harmful side effects created by commonly used synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Dr. John R. Lee explains why conventional HRT drugs can be harmful and offers an easy-to-follow non-prescription 'Hormone Balance' program that tells readers how to stay energized, strong and sexually vigorous during the menopausal years and beyond.

Explaining Endometriosis by Lorraine Henderson, Ros Wood.

Women with endometriosis and the health professionals who treat them will benefit from the latest information about the possible causes, diagnosis, surgeries, and current treatment options for endometriosis.

This handbook cuts through the complexity to offer simple advice that will enable women to make informed decisions about their condition and its implications.

It collects comparisons of different hormonal and laser treatments, it will discuss the lifestyle factors that can improve overall health and well-being. Covered are new herbal medicine therapies, pain management medications and infertility and pregnancy issues that are related to the disease.

• 3- Uterine prolapse occurs quite infrequently after one or several pregnancies, sometimes because of obesity, hormone imbalance, and with age. Because of these factors, some women will lose muscle tone and will experience sagging of the uterus, bladder, vagina and rectum.

These organs are supported and held in position by three types of supports - muscles, fascia and ligaments which become damaged. The worst case scenario would be when the woman's cervix and uterus descends out of the vagina - and it can actually be seen between the legs.

Advanced uterine prolapse also has the following symptoms:

• If you laugh, cough or sneeze - you will begin to urinate.
• Sexual intercourse is painful and your vagina has enlarged.
• Your uterus descends and will make you feel uncomfortable when you laugh, cough and stand.
• Difficulty defecating and perhaps vaginal spotting.
• Lower backache

The earlier stages of uterine prolapse can be solved with regular pelvic exercises that strengthen the muscles that support the uterus, bladder and rectum.

If exercise no longer helps, you may have to resort to a hysterectomy or some procedure to remove only the cervix. To learn more about uterine prolapse and other types of hysterectomy surgeries, you may want to review or order this book.

Berman Center Isis Beginning Pelvic Exercisor

A uniquely designed kegel exerciser. This small ergonomically shaped barbell comfortably tones the vaginal, kegel muscles and keeps them fit and healthy. Especially effective for post childbirth or menopause - hysterectomy surgery.

Now more than ever, women are seeking a long and fulfilling active sexual life. It is known that childbirth and natural aging can weaken the vagina or kegel muscles situated at the pelvic floor causing incontinence and a loss of pleasurable feelings, even orgasm.

Beyond Kegels: Fabulous Four Exercises & More to Prevent & Treat Incontinence by Janet A. Hulme.

Incontinence is not a normal part of aging and can be prevented.

This book details the Beyond Kegels program, an innovative, conservative approach to preventing and treating incontinence.

Simple exercises that anyone of any age can do, take only minutes per day.

When combined with simple lifestyle modifications, this program is effective for the prevention and treatment of overactive bladder, urge, stress and mixed incontinence without the side effects of medication.

Hysterectomy Hoax by Dr. Stanley West, Paula Dranov

Most of the hysterectomy surgeries are unwarranted according to Dr. West. This vital health guide offers women the information they need to empower themselves in making critical health decisions.

For example, surgery can often do more harm than good and may pose needless risks, except in situations involving a life-threatening illness such as cancer.

However, surgeons often rely on hysterectomies as a panacea for everything from premenstrual syndrome to uterine fibroids. An important step in bridging the communication gap between patient and physician are the specific questions in this book for women to ask their doctors.

Types of hysterectomy surgery...

• Total abdominal hysterectomy surgery (TAH)
• Vaginal hysterectomy surgery (VH)
• Laparoscopic hysterectomy surgery (LH)
• Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy or laproscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH)
• Removal of left ovary and fallopian tube (LSO)
• Removal of right ovary and fallopian tube (RSO)
• Removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes (BSO)
• Total abdominal hysterectomy with removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes (TAH/BSO)

There are several types of surgical approaches to hysterectomies.

The surgical method used depends a great deal on your surgeon's skills, experience, what type of problem or reason you have for the hysterectomy, have you had children before, and perhaps your weight.

• 1 - Vaginal hysterectomy can be performed through an incision in your vagina instead of opening the abdomen, the uterus is removed through the vagina - this type of hysterectomy surgery is about 20% of all hysterectomies and has fewer complications, less pain and faster recovery period because you aren't waiting for a large abdominal incision to heal. This procedure can be performed frequently with the aid of laparoscopy.

The complications for this hysterectomy surgery are: fever, infection, bladder injuries and adhesions. Vaginal hysterectomy surgery gives the surgeon less room to operate and much less opportunity to view your pelvic organs. With a vaginal hysterectomy surgery, you don't have any external scarring.

A vaginal hysterectomy surgery approach is best for benign conditions that lead to hysterectomy when the uterus isn't too large. It's also the best approach if you have uterine prolapse or other non-cancerous conditions.

• 2 - Abdominal hysterectomy the surgeon cuts through skin and connective tissue in your lower abdomen to reach your uterus. The surgeon uses one of two types of abdominal incisions for the hysterectomy surgery.

A vertical incision starts in the middle of your abdomen and extends from just below your navel to just above your pubic bone. A horizontal bikini-line incision (Pfannenstiel's incision) lies about an inch above your pubic bone.

The advantage of an abdominal procedure is that your surgeon can see your uterus and other organs and has more room to operate than if the procedure is done vaginally. For this reason, your surgeon may opt for the abdominal procedure if you have large tumors or if your doctor suspects the presence of cancer.

With abdominal hysterectomy surgery you'll be in the hospital longer and will experience a longer recovery time. You may experience greater discomfort and pain than with a vaginal procedure. You'll have a visible scar on your abdomen - this is a very commonly used surgical procedure.

• 3 - Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy or laparoscopy assisted vaginal hysterectomy is a combined procedure that can remove the uterus vaginally when it otherwise would require a large abdominal incision.

The surgeon makes a small incision in your lower abdomen to insert a thin device (laparoscope) instrument that allows the surgical team to see inside your abdomen.

Your surgeon uses specially crafted surgical instruments to view the pelvic organs on a video screen and to detach the uterus and remove it through the vagina.

This approach requires the longest operating time and the success of the hysterectomy also depends on how experienced your surgeon is with this procedure - make sure you check on the number of laparoscopic procedures that your doctor has performed.

What can you expect during the procedure and recovery? Hysterectomies are most often performed under general anesthesia, so you won't likely be awake during the surgery.

The procedure itself lasts about one to two hours, although you'll spend some time beforehand getting ready to go into the operating room. One of the surgical preparations will be to place a thin tube (catheter) in your bladder to drain urine during the operation.

After surgery, you'll remain in the recovery room for a few hours. Recovery room staff monitor you for signs of pain and discomfort. You'll take medicine for pain and to prevent infection. Understand that you won't be back to your usual self for at least four to six weeks.

Hysterectomy surgery related articles...

Hysterectomy surgery and hysterectomy side effects.

Exercise after hysterectomy.

Post hysterectomy care after surgery hysterectomy.

Signs and symptoms of endometriosis.

Learn about vaginal hysterectomy procedure.

Hysterectomy information books.

Recovery time for an abdominal hysterectomy.

Can I enjoy sex after a hysterectomy?

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