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Prophylactic Hysterectomy

From the Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles List

What is a prophylactic hysterectomy and why would I consider one?What is a prophylactic hysterectomy and why would I consider one?

A prophylactic hysterectomy is the removal of the healthy uterus to prevent disease or cancer. Though the surgery may be beneficial in some ways, there are risks which need to be considered.

Having certain genetic mutations or a strong family history which increases the risk of cancers involving the uterus are reasons to consider a prophylactic hysterectomy. Women with Lynch syndrome have an increased risk for developing both endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer, so having both a prophylactic hysterectomy and prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy could decrease those risks for them.

For women with a uterus who do not have ovaries and/or do not use hormone replacement therapy (HRT), there can be a risk of developing endometrial cancer. Thus, women who undergo a prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy to prevent ovarian cancer or disease may also choose to have a prophylactic hysterectomy to eliminate that new cancer risk.

A prophylactic hysterectomy may be done as a total abdominal hysterectomy or using a minimally invasive procedure depending on your situation and the skill of your surgeon. While a prophylactic hysterectomy may minimize and even eliminate the development of endometrial cancer, it is a major surgery that is not without side effects regardless of the method used. Hysterectomy complications which can occur may include infection, bleeding, injury to surrounding organs, nerve damage, adhesions, anesthesia or medication reactions, premature menopause, and more.

If you are at higher risk for endometrial or uterine cancer, talk to your oncologist about whether or not a prophylactic hysterectomy may be right for you. Before you make any final decisions, seek a second opinion as well to help determine if there are other options which may be right for you. If your increased risk is the result of a genetic related condition, a genetic counselor may also be able to help.

In addition, following a prophylactic hysterectomy you will no longer be able to conceive. Therefore, before choosing this surgery it is important to discuss your fertility situation with your oncologist. You may be able to postpone surgery for a time until you have completed your family, or you may need to discuss alternative options such as surrogacy or adoption.

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.

08-19-2014 - 05:17 PM


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