What if your Columbus gynecologist were to tell you that you needed a hysterectomy to treat a pelvic condition? And that it is a major procedure that would result in you losing all of your “female parts?” And before he pushes the consent form in front of you he tells you that the procedure will leave a huge scar in your abdomen?
Before you consent to the procedure, you need to ask your gynecologist a couple of questions.
First, ask him if all of your “female parts” have to be removed. Many women automatically think that a hysterectomy involves removing their uterus, ovaries, cervix and tubes, which will kick-start menopause, leave an unsightly scar and diminish their desire for sex.
But this is not the reality – especially in benign cases. In these cases, the procedure involves removing only the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Secondly, ask your Columbus gynecologist if the hysterectomy can be performed in a minimally invasive fashion.
Many women, having been told this is not possible, have sought a second opinion. In reality, studies indicate that women undergoing a hysterectomy will do much better using a laparoscopy. This less-invasive alternative, in which miniature instruments are inserted into quarter-inch incisions, results in less pain, faster recovery and fewer complications.
Also, if you’re interested, ask your gynecologist if keeping your cervix is an option. Many of the conditions that result in the need for a hysterectomy don’t actually involve the cervix, and its removal can result in complications that include a diminished sex drive.
Therefore, the removal of the cervix is often unnecessary, but you should discuss the pros and cons of keeping it with your Columbus gynecologist.
And what about your fallopian tubes and ovaries? Some studies indicate that certain ovarian cancers are linked to a woman’s fallopian tubes, so removal during the hysterectomy is recommended.
As far as the ovaries go, removing them can lead to more serious problems such as diminished thinking abilities (Alzheimer’s), so unless you have a strong history of ovarian cancer in your family, gynecologists recommend that you leave your ovaries in tact.
The bottom line is that you need to carefully examine your options before you make the decision to have invasive surgery for a pelvic condition. Your Columbus gynecologist can treat many of these conditions using less-invasive methods such as laparoscopy.