Hysterectomy: Necessity or Convenience

  1. Extensive and/or frequent bleeding is not unusual in menopausal women - it is inconvenient and perhaps potentially life threatening, but not usually. Women have experienced it for hundreds of years, more now (last 100 years) as the population has aged significantly. But we have a convenient relief - used to be a hysterectomy, but now most go for ablation first. If that does not work then the hys. Alternatives include waiting it out and increasing your iron and fluid intake and exercise. So is treatment a medical necessity or a convenience?
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Everyone i've seen get one has been a necessity, and some were after ablations.

    Just because women have/had suffered (or "waited out") for eons doesn't mean they should continue to do so. Not when there's alternatives available. Waiting it out, what fun.

    Convenient relief? Assuming that the ablation works for someone, it's not as convenient and easy as you're making it sound. Ask a few people that's had one. Ask them how many pads, tampons, underwear and pants they had soaked through before they got to the point of an ablation and/or hysterectomy, and how much money, and clothing went down the drain and in the garbage for both. Ask them what they had to do weeks pre-op to the ablation. Ask them how post-op recovery was from their hysterectomy.

    I haven't known a whole lot of women that flow like the Mississippi who want to exercise, for fear of leaking, not to mention the cramps that OTC meds won't touch.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Dec 27, '06
  4. by   llg
    What's the purpose of this thread? Is it a class assignment? A research project on attitudes of nurses toward this procedure?

    I'd like to know that before I answer.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Having a surgical procedure is definitely not a mere convenience. The patient who elects to undergo the surgery must deal with the loss of an organ, severe postsurgical pain, a range of emotions, and other issues.

    Therefore, hysterectomies are not 'convenient'. For some women they are life-savers. If I was told that I had uterine or ovarian cancer, I'd volunteer to have an elective hysterectomy rather than gamble with my life.
  6. by   outcomesfirst
    Quote from llg
    What's the purpose of this thread? Is it a class assignment? A research project on attitudes of nurses toward this procedure?

    I'd like to know that before I answer.
    I find the diversity of opinion engaging. I encourage nurses to explore their beliefs and question the standards in order to foster (albeit at a low level) critical thinking about a crucial topic for our healthcare future.

    PS. I am pro universal healthcare, where everyone gets treated to meet their needs.
  7. by   Lizzy6
    Quote from outcomesfirst
    Extensive and/or frequent bleeding is not unusual in menopausal women - it is inconvenient and perhaps potentially life threatening, but not usually. Women have experienced it for hundreds of years, more now (last 100 years) as the population has aged significantly. But we have a convenient relief - used to be a hysterectomy, but now most go for ablation first. If that does not work then the hys. Alternatives include waiting it out and increasing your iron and fluid intake and exercise. So is treatment a medical necessity or a convenience?
    I agree with Marie. I take supplements, exercise & eat well. However it has been over 4 years of dealing with adenomyosis...and ablation doesn't work for adeno. Ablation is usually done with endo, however it often can come back, hence why women often opt to have a hysterectomy. So instead of enduring severe uterine contracting and stabbing pain....my time is up, looking forward to getting a LAVH. I want my life back.
    Last edit by Lizzy6 on Dec 27, '06 : Reason: typo
  8. by   prmenrs
    When I think of the time I wasted between ages 12 to 45 having killer cramps, I don't miss that uterus one darn bit. For several months after my hys, I gleefully ripped out coupons for sanitary products and hand them to younger friends: "HERE! I don't need these any more!!" They were begging me to quit doing that!
  9. by   got2labsrn
    Quote from prmenrs
    When I think of the time I wasted between ages 12 to 45 having killer cramps, I don't miss that uterus one darn bit. For several months after my hys, I gleefully ripped out coupons for sanitary products and hand them to younger friends: "HERE! I don't need these any more!!" They were begging me to quit doing that!
    Hopefully soon I will be able to rip out the coupons too & pass them on to my friends....because I am having surgery in 2007...woohoo!! Certainly correct about all the years from having horrific cramps.
  10. by   mercyteapot
    Who gets to define the term ''necessity''? Putting aside those situations (NOT insignificant in number) in which a hysterectomy is a lifesaving measure, I still find it simplistic in the extreme to consider this operation one of convenience. The term convenience implies that life could go on just fine without it if one is willing to make a few basic adjustments. The quality of life without a needed ablation or hysterectomy is drastically reduced. Why on earth should anyone consider ''doing without'' just because for many centuries women had no choice? Should we also consider doing without needed dental care? After all, millions of people the world over have to let their teeth rot out, but hey, they're still alive!
  11. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from mercyteapot
    Who gets to define the term ''necessity''?
    Insurance companies. Sadly. And shame on us for letting them get by with having usurped that right.
  12. by   Dalzac
    Whose to say why woman have hysterctomys? I had a uterus full of fibroid tumors, 3 grapefruit sized and numerous smaller ones. They weren't cancerous, but how long would they keep on growing? My Doc said they had to go and they went.
  13. by   tntrn
    Against my own better judgment (and I do have better judgment part of the time) I will respond. WHAT? Elective C/sections are becoming a daily thing and someone wants to nitpick about a woman deciding (for whatever reason) she'd be happier, not to mention healthier, without a uterus? Gimme a very serious break!

    I had mine removed (yanked was the term my doc and I used) when I was almost 34 and I've never looked back. I have been healthier, happier, able to spend my money on things I really wanted instead of needed, and never once did I have to deal with the "loss of an organ." That one I don't get at all, unless the woman was hoping to have more children, which I wasn't.

    My friend, however, didn't have the same experience. She's a bit older than I. I'm almost 58 and she's 60 and it was just a couple of years ago that she finally found a doc who would agree to "yanking" hers. Now in the 20 years prior to that, she was miserable: and the rest of us around her were also. Miserable for her I mean. Her doc kept asking her to "try this" or "try that" and it was just ridiculous! I kept telling her to find another doc!

    So mine was done, well, about 22 years ago today in fact. It was a vag hyst, back then I was in the hospital for 2 days. I had the surgery on a Tuesday, home on Thursday, out to lunch on Saturday and on Monday I went to Hawaii with my fiance for a week. All with my doc's blessing.

    A hysterectomy probably saved my emotional life, that's all I can say and would like to ask those who still have theirs by their own choice not to judge the rest of us. And when it comes time that you've had enough of it, I hope and pray that you'll be able to find a caregiver who really cares and will help you.
  14. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from TrudyRN
    Insurance companies. Sadly. And shame on us for letting them get by with having usurped that right.
    I do agree with you that insurance companies determine what constitutes necessity if we are asking them to pay for it. To me, that part of it can be left out of this particular discussion- meaning, I guess, that what I'm saying is assuming that funds to pay for a hysterectomy are available through some source, who defines necessity? The woman who is suffering and her doctor (and if you're suffering and your doc isn't on your side, time to change docs!!!!) or some third party who thinks they know better than you what you need?

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