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Endometriosis after Hysterectomy

By Kristi Patrice Carter

In the past, most women believed that having a hysterectomy would rid them of their endometriosis. After all, this is one of the common treatments available to women who suffer from endometriosis. However, many women experience a recurrence of their endometriosis after their surgery. This is becoming more and more common.

How can this happen? Most women are led to believe that once they have this radical surgery, there pain and suffering will end. After all, this is what their doctors have led them to believe. Without this understanding, many women say they would not have consented with the procedure.

A hysterectomy may not, in fact, remove all of the endometrial tissue that is causing your pain. When this happens, the endometrial cells continue to grow just as they did before your surgery. Because most women believe that this pain cannot possibly be a reoccurrence of their endometriosis, they often let this go for too long. This can result in widespread growth, which can spread to your lungs, brain, bladder, and arms and legs.

Studies have shown that many women suffer from residual endometriosis. Many women who have severe endometriosis opt to have a hysterectomy in order to relieve their pain and suffering. Removing your uterus and ovaries through a hysterectomy is no guarantee that your endometriosis will be completely removed. Because of the scarring that is caused by endometriosis, it can often be difficult to see and remove all of the endometrial cells. This can be further complicated if you have had previous surgeries. As most of the cases that require hysterectomies are severe, there will be scarring caused by endometriosis. In other words, the more scarring you have, the less likely your surgeon will be in removing all of your endometriosis.

Some studies have shown that the recurrence rate of endometriosis after hysterectomy is as high as 10% in one year after surgery. This percentage increases to 40% five years after a hysterectomy. This study indicates the risk of recurrence is much higher than previously believed. Because of these findings, more studies are planned in order to determine the success of hysterectomies in treating endometriosis.

If your doctor advises you to pursue a hysterectomy, you should discuss all your available options before making any final decisions. You should also discuss the possibility of recurrent endometriosis with your doctor. If your doctor does not provide you with the answers you need, you should find another health care professional to discuss your concerns with. After all, it is your health and it is up to you to protect yourself.

There are many other options available to treat endometriosis. Before you make any radical decisions about surgical procedures, you should always do your own research in order to make the best decision for you. It is important to make a decision that is informed, and not make a decision just because of the advice of one doctor. It is your health, and you are the only person who can make the decisions regarding your health. The power is ultimately yours.