Hysterectomy Helps Relieve Symptoms for Some Women
In an interview with WebMD, Judy Levison, MD, says that based on the study
and her own clinical experience, patients with chronic pelvic pain are among
the hardest patients to assess for a hysterectomy because there are so many
possible causes for the pain. Levison, an obstetrician/gynecologist in Houston,
says the study lumped very different types of pain into one category, and
therefore didn't give a good answer about how best to manage each type of
chronic pelvic pain.
Levison is especially concerned about depressed women who consider
hysterectomy to relieve symptoms. "They should be counseled well because a
hysterectomy may not cure them," she says.
Kjerulff says, "Women who have symptoms should try every potential
therapy before they resort to hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is still major surgery
and involves a long recovery. If they have tried everything and they still feel
their symptoms impact on their quality of life," she says it is reasonable
to consider hysterectomy.
- In a study in Maryland, women who underwent hysterectomy for noncancerous
conditions reported substantial improvements in symptom relief and quality of
- The rate of hysterectomy in Maryland is relatively low, so researchers
cannot say that the results can be applied to other regions where the procedure
may be overused.
- Women who are symptomatic should try every potential therapy before
considering hysterectomy, and those who are depressed may not be good
candidates for the surgery.