to Gyn or not?

01/29/2009 at 12:45 AM Leave a comment

One question that persists has to do with removing ovaries during a hysterectomy. It seems to me and many family docs that there isnt much point in leaving them in. Sure if the woman is unusually young for the procedure, there is understandable concern about throwing her into full fledged menopause. But for the average mid to late 40s or early 50s woman who is having the hysterectomy for uncontrollable bleeding, fibroids, etc. what is the deal?

Why take a healthy organ out of the body? That is a healthy organ with little purpose. The woman will be going through menopause soon, but most importantly is the concern that ovarian cancer although rare is a bad actor. It is almost impossible to detect,  difficult to treat and devastating to the body. One of my patients just died from ovarian cancer. Her daughter is now worried about her chances of getting it. She had a hysterectomy a few years ago but they left the ovaries in. She sure wishes they had taken them out. 

In another case of a young woman, the ovaries were left behind and the woman has developed ovarian cysts and needs birth control pills to regulate them. would it not have been easier  and much safer to remove them and have her take estrogen replacement?

It seems to me that some allowance for the feelings of the patient should be allowed, but then again I am not the person doing the surgery.  if any GYN surgeons out there read this, I would welcome input on why the ovaries are almost always left behind.

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Entry filed under: Doctor Musings. Tags: , .

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