3 Questions you must ask before having a hysterectomy.
The Number One Surgery Women Have That They May Not Need. Dr oz talked to all women today about fibroids and that size doesn't matter, you can have them softball size, or tiny fibroids that's bleeding all the time. Claudine joined Dr oz today and she had 87 fibroid tumours removed from her Uterus. Her doctor told her she needed to have her uterus removed and she refused to part with her uterus, so she did her homework. Fibroids can grow inside or out side of the uterus, large ones may only cause discomfort and pressure as symptoms, but it can twist, cut off blood supply and become very painful.
Fibroids can cause bleeding, as the problem Karen has at 36 years old and a mother of two. Dr Oz and Dr Ashton explained all the options she has, and the questions to ask before she makes the decision to have a hysterectomy.
Dr Ashton says to be very very sure that the symptoms you are having are so bad that there is no other option, and sometimes there is no other option.
Sherry 49, also joined Dr Oz with her story of dealing with fibroids, heavy clots and being sent to the emergency room because she thought she was dying, it was so bad. Her doctor put her on oral progesterone, which stopped it for the first month, then it started all over again. (Sherry's story is identical to what I personally went through with the Fibroid I had, it was not a pleasant experience). She went for a second opinion, and her OBGYN told her she should probably have the hysterectomy, but leave her cervix, and ovaries. He told her there really wasn't too many options for her. She was too old to go on the pill, and there are a lot of side effects from that, and besides the progesterone isn't working, and the other procedures are not an option.
Dr Oz - Bleeding From The Uterus
Dr Ashton said that when a woman goes through menopause there is a dramatic reduction in the growth of those fibroids and also likely in the symptoms. Dr Ashton says the name of the game here is buying time. If you are trying to avoid a major invasive surgical procedure like a hysterectomy, all you want to do is buy some time until you hit menopause, and you can treat that bleeding in a way that's less invasive than a hysterectomy.
A hysterectomy is the second most common surgery performed on reproductive-aged women after delivery by cesarean section. More than a half a million of these surgeries are performed in the US every year. Dr oz explained today with Dr Jennifer Ashton when is a hysterectomy the best option for you. Did you know that of all the women that go for a hysterectomy 600 cases of those women that went in for a hysterectomy won't leave the hospital alive.
Half of all hysterectomies are to remove Fibroids. There are questions you should be asking your Doctor about Fibroids;
"Questions should I ask my doctor if I have fibroids?"
1. How many fibroids do I have?
2. What size is my fibroid(s)?
3. Where is my fibroid(s) located (outer surface, inner surface, or in the wall of the uterus)?
4. Can I expect the fibroid(s) to grow larger?
5. How rapidly have they grown (if they were known about already)?
6. How will I know if the fibroid(s) is growing larger?
7. What problems can the fibroid(s) cause?
8. What tests or imaging studies are best for keeping track of the growth of my fibroids?
9. What are my treatment options if my fibroid(s) becomes a problem?
10. What are your views on treating fibroids with a hysterectomy versus other types of treatments?
A second opinion is always a good idea if your doctor has not answered your questions completely or does not seem to be meeting your needs.
Having a hysterectomy has potential repercussions - – bleeding, infection, reactions to anesthesia and injury to nearby organs, nerves and tissue. A hysterectomy can also cause the vaginal dryness, mood swings and hot flashes of menopause if the ovaries are also removed; impact sexual pleasure, particularly uterine orgasm; produce bladder and intestinal changes; and provoke emotional distress and depression.
The Dr Oz Show today was that a hysterectomy may be the only choice if a woman has cancer of the uterus, ovary, cervix, or endometrium. But he goes on to explain that most hysterectomies are performed for non-cancerous conditions – such as fibroids, endometriosis, and uterine prolapse. Up to 80% of women have fibroids by the time they reach age 40.
A hysterectomy can alleviate the pain, pressure and bleeding caused by conditions of the uterus, and many women are happy with the results.
Because there are more alternatives to surgery available that keep reproductive organs intact, hysterectomy rates in the US have been steadily declining.
Dr Ashton And Dr Oz recommends you ask these 3 questions and more If your doctor proposes hysterectomy.
1. Why are you recommending hysterectomy?
2. What type of hysterectomy do you propose and why?
3. Partial – removal of the uterus keeping the cervix
4. Total – the entire uterus and cervix
5. Radical – removal of uterus, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes
6. Abdominal hysterectomy – removal of the uterus through an incision on the lower abdomen
7. Vaginal hysterectomy – removal of the uterus through the vagina
8. Laparoscopic hysterectomy (keyhole surgery) – the uterus is visualized using a flexible lighted microscope (laparoscope) threaded through the belly button while other instruments inserted into a few small incisions removes the uterus
9. What are the pros and cons of the type of hysterectomy you want to perform?
10. Are there any alternatives to hysterectomy?
11. Is watchful waiting an option (fibroids will shrink during menopause)?
There are newer treatments with fewer side effects and long-term consequences that are forcing doctors to consider the role of a woman’s uterus. Here are some of Dr Oz's alternative techniques to consider in lieu of hysterectomy.
- Radiofrequency ablation – This technique delivers intense heat to destroy thickened or abnormal tissue inside the uterus. An electrode inserted into fibroid tumors or thickened areas melts tissue away.
- High-frequency ultrasound – This method uses high-frequency ultrasound to destroy small fibroid tumors.
- Myomectomy – A surgical procedure used to treat uterine fibroids. The uterus remains intact and only the fibroids are removed.
- Intrauterine device (IUD) – Inserting an IUD within the uterus (similar to the birth-control device) laced with the hormone progesterone can reduce endometrial wall thickening and control excessive menstrual bleeding.
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) – A conservative procedure that preserves the uterus while removing abnormal cells in women with cervical cancer.
- Hormonal therapy – Hormone pills, similar to birth control pills, or hormone injections can reduce pain, and excessive or irregular bleeding.
- Anti-estrogen therapy – Hormone blockers given until natural menopause occurs can keep ovaries from producing estrogen, which can shrink fibroids.
- Uterine artery embolization (UAE) – Usually performed by an interventional radiologist, this procedure cuts off the blood supply feeding fibroids. A catheter is threaded through a blood vessel in the groin to the area of the uterus. Eventually tissue fed by the zapped blood vessel dies and is reabsorbed.
- Dilatation and vaginal curettage (D&C) – A procedure that resurfaces the uterine lining and may help to control excessive bleeding temporarily.
- Pain Medications – Some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, not only reduce painful cramps but can calm heavy bleeding.
- Herbal and dietary supplements – Certain dietary supplements and teas may help relieve menstrual cramps and regulate blood flow. Cramp bark, derived from the viburnum plant can quell cramping; Valerian root has a sedating effect that can relax the uterus; Pycnogenol(pronounced pick-nah-jen-all)also called Pine bark extract, can reduce swelling and pain; and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea (rubus) can help keep the uterus muscle toned.
Dr Oz What are the symptoms of fibroids?Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms, but some women with fibroids can have:
1. heavy bleeding (which can be heavy enough to cause anemia) or painful periods
2. feeling of fullness in the pelvic area (lower stomach area)
3. enlargement of the lower abdomen
4. frequent urination
5. pain during sex
6. lower back pain
7. complications during pregnancy and labor, including a six-time greater risk of 8. cesarean section
9. reproductive problems, such as infertility, which is very rare
Medications often prescribed for Fibroids - Over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used for mild pain. If you have heavy bleeding during your period, taking an iron supplement can keep you from getting anemia or correct it if you already are anemic.
Several drugs commonly used for birth control can be prescribed to help control symptoms of fibroids. Low-dose birth control pills do not make fibroids grow and can help control heavy bleeding. The same is true of progesterone-like injections (e.g., Depo-Provera®). An IUD (intrauterine device) called Mirena® contains a small amount of progesterone-like medication, which can be used to control heavy bleeding as well as for birth control.
Other drugs used to treat fibroids are "gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists" (GnRHa). The one most commonly used is Lupron®. These drugs, given by injection, nasal spray, or implanted, can shrink your fibroids. Sometimes they are used before surgery to make fibroids easier to remove.
Researchers are looking into other ways to treat uterine fibroids. The following methods are not yet standard treatments; so your doctor may not offer them or health insurance may not cover them.
MRI-guided ultrasound surgery shrinks fibroids using a high-intensity ultrasound beam. The MRI scanner helps the doctor locate the fibroid, and the ultrasound sends out very hot sound waves to destroy the fibroid. The ExAblate® 2000 System is a medical device that uses this method to destroy uterine fibroids.
Some health care providers use lasers to remove a fibroid or to cut off the blood supply to the fibroid, making it shrink.
Mifepristone®, and other anti-hormonal drugs being developed, could provide symptom relief without bone-thinning side effects. These are promising treatments, but none are yet available or FDA approved.
Other medications are being studied for treatment of fibroids.