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Hysterectomy Helps Relieve Symptoms for Some Women

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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.

Vital Information:

  • In a study in Maryland, women who underwent hysterectomy for noncancerous conditions reported substantial improvements in symptom relief and quality of life.
  • 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.
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