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Appendectomy with Hysterectomy

From the Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles List

Appendectomy with hysterectomyI have read about women having an appendectomy during their hysterectomy. Should I have an elective appendectomy when I have my hysterectomy?


There are a lot of variables to consider when deciding to have any elective surgery. In the case of an elective appendectomy during a gynecological surgery such as a hysterectomy, there are surgeons with strong opinions on both sides of the issue.

In the past, the appendix was often automatically removed during any surgery where it could be easily reached. The theory was that it was an unnecessary organ, so removing it could save future health problems, prevent another surgery, and even save lives.

Currently, the appendix is thought to be of some importance. Research findings indicate the appendix may store good bacteria that can be important following an illness that destroys the bacteria necessary for digestion. When the necessary bacteria is depleted, the good bacteria in the appendix can take over, allowing the digestive system to continue to function.

Despite these findings, most people do not seem to be negatively impacted by the removal of their appendix. However, the benefits of an elective appendectomy are very controversial. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, limited studies seem to indicate that women 35 years of age and younger may benefit the most from incidental appendectomies performed during a gynecological procedures. On the other hand, women over the age of 50 may not benefit at all. For those between the ages of 35 and 50, benefits can depend on individual circumstances.

Gynecological surgeons have their own opinions regarding the appendix which can affect if and when they will perform coincidental appendectomies. Determination can be affected by training, experience, skill, type of gynecological procedure, specific patient circumstances, and more.

If there are reasons you would like to have an appendectomy during your hysterectomy, sit down and talk to your surgeon. Explain your reasons and ask if the surgery would be appropriate for you. You should also seek a second opinion to determine what is best for you.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

04-10-2003 - 05:33 PM


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