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Sunday, May 17, 2015

New Study Finds That 1 in 5 Hysterectomies Are Unnecessary

New Study Finds That 1 in 5 Hysterectomies Are Unnecessary
More than 400,000 hysterectomies are performed in the US every year. It is the second most common surgery for women, the first being cesarean section delivery of babies. But a recent study by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School reveals that 1 in 5 hysterectomies may be unnecessary.

What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes all or part of the uterus, and may include removing the cervix or ovaries as well. Why do women have hysterectomies? Woman have hysterectomies for various reasons, including the presence of painful and bleeding uterine fibroids, to remove a uterus that has fallen from its normal position, or due to cancer.

The 2013 study examined the medical records of 3,397 women from 52 hospitals in Michigan who had hysterectomies for reasons other than cancer. Researchers discovered that less than 30 percent of the women received any type of medical therapy before having a hysterectomy, meaning they were not given alternatives to a hysterectomy. Alternatives could include hormone therapy and endometrial ablation, which is a procedure that destroys (ablates) the uterine lining and is often used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding without removing the uterus.

Younger women a concern

Younger women, under the age of 40, were a particular concern for researchers. Research results showed that 37.8 percent of women under 40 years had pathology (examinations of body tissue) that did not indicate a need for a hysterectomy. This was compared to the rates for older women, 12 percent for women aged 40-50 and 7.5 percent for women over 50.

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