Hysterectomy no longer only option for treating fibroids

Keyhole incisions and/or a vaginal cut require about a third of the recovery time

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(Dr. Michelle Jacobson and Katie Tucker/ Toronto Star) — Hysterectomy is the most common major gynecologic procedure done in Canada, with more than 100 performed daily. This procedure involves the removal of all or part of the uterus, and may or may not include the cervix, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

Fibroids are the most common reason for hysterectomy, but the procedure can also be used to treat a variety of conditions including unmanageable uterine bleeding, prolapse, and precancerous changes. Hysterectomy can also be part of a treatment plan for cancers of the reproductive organs or to help prevent cancer.

Fibroids are also known as leiomyomas, affecting up to 70 per cent of women. They may grow in the cavity, wall, or outer surface of the uterus. They can vary in size, shape, and location. Fibroids grow most in perimenopause but can develop any time. They tend to grow over the course of a woman’s reproductive years but generally become smaller after menopause.

Between 35 and 50 per cent of women with fibroids have no symptoms, and their fibroids are first detected during a routine pelvic exam or ultrasound. Others may have longer, heavier, more painful or more frequent periods, bleeding between periods, anemia, pelvic pain, pain during sex, abdominal cramps, constipation or a frequent need to urinate. Women with certain types of fibroids are also at higher risk for infertility and miscarriage. (…)

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