Article from the Daily Mail:
Do you REALLY need your ovaries removed during a hysterectomy? How one in three doctors still recommend procedure – defying national guidelines
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises pre-menopausal women to keep their ovaries if they are undergoing hysterectomies and aren’t at increased risk of ovarian cancer.
But it seems practicing gynecologists continue to go against this recommendation.
According to a new study from Baystate Medical Center, one in three doctorsstill recommend removal of healthy ovaries from women undergoing hysterectomies who haven’t yet entered menopause.
Needless or necessary? One in three doctors recommend removal of healthy ovaries from women undergoing hysterectomies who haven¿t yet entered menopause, according to a new study from Baystate Medical Center
Regardless of a physicians’ age, sex, training, or geographic region, the recommendations to remove healthy ovaries remained constant.
The results, published in the journal Menopause, were based on a survey of nearly 500 American gynecologists.
Doctors argue that the heart- and bone-protective benefits of keeping functioning ovaries before menopause outweigh the smaller risks of future ovarian cancer.
It is the second most common surgery for women after Cesarean sections, and many women have the procedure for benign but painful conditions such as fibroid growths or endometriosis.
In a pre-menopausal woman, removal of ovaries can cause a sudden loss of estrogen and often triggers hot flashes, mood changes, sleep disturbances, headaches, and a decline in feelings of well-being.
Over time, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, loss of libido, bladder dysfunction, and depression may also occur.
For postmenopausal women, however, removal of the ovaries is seen to be a smart option to protect against ovarian cancer.
But even after menopause, ovaries continue to produce significant amounts of the androgens testosterone and androstenedione which inhibit bone resorption, and stimulate bone formation.
Low levels of androgens and estrogens are linked to lower bone density and a higher risk of hip and vertebral fracture in postmenopausal women.
According to William H. Parker, a gynecologist at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, postmenopausal women who have had their ovaries removed may have an even greater risk of osteoporosis.
‘I think we must conclude that a more balanced view of the risks versus benefits of retaining the ovaries in pre-menopausal women would help doctors counsel their patients more effectively and accurately,’ said study author Dr Oz Harmanli, chief of urogynecology and pelvic surgery at Baystate.
The more I read, the more I believe I was very lucky to have the surgeon I did. I feel like she gave me a lot of information and options that it seems not everyone is getting from their doctors. I think this type of information needs to be far more accessible to people. So, what do you think? Were you given all the information you needed to make good decisions at the time of your surgery?