Four months ago, the Great and Powerful Dr. Oz posed a question to Oprah and her in-house audience members. He asked, “What is the number one cause of death in the United States?” Lobs from the audience began with their very loud and assured responses.” Heart disease, lung cancer, breast cancer, other cancers” — Oprah and her touchable minions were in total agreement with their choices. “NO!!” Dr. Oz responded with that Cheshire cat smile that makes him so lovable. After a long pointed pause, Dr. Oz informed all of us, that in fact, the number one reason for morbidity in this great country of ours leans squarely on the shoulders of “hospital errors!” At that moment the shock and awe of his answer, jostled a few memories that included my own horror stories of hospital errors. The many occasions that I accompanied my parents with lengthy stays in the hospital were littered with errors: incorrect medications, incorrect time dispensing of medications, and certain unusable technical equipment. I quickly became their patient advocate, with a kind manner, but a much demanded, no-nonsense demeanor (nice way of saying — big mouth.) As Dr. Oz freely admitted, hospitals are places that can be dangerous, even lethal. Vigilance on the part of the patient advocate is mandatory, and also mandatory, is that every patient must have those extra pair of eyes and ears that will oversee all the care that is to be administered.
The great big question that I ask, with even more voracity now, is “Why oh why oh why, would any woman elect to have a hysterectomy?” Although, I am cautious with my query. A suggestion by your trusted ob-gyn that it is a good move to undergo an elective procedure that could keep you out of commission — and in pain — for six weeks, is flat-out wrong. A woman never needs a hysterectomy for fibroids, so why are doctors still insisting on this offer, as a solution to symptomatic fibroids? We touched on this subject in the last computer-side chat, but my continued quest for more information led me to this quote by Dr. Ernst Bartsich, MD; a gynecological surgeon at Weill-Cornell Medical Center. He said, “Our profession is entrenched in terms of doing hysterectomies. I’m not proud of that. It may be an acceptable procedure, but it isn’t necessary in so many cases. From 75-85% may be unnecessary.” B-I-N-G-O!!
But now what? You are experiencing the usual problems associated with a symptomatic fibroid: heavy bleeding, pain, constant urge to urinate and bloating (in my case, ginormous bloating!) Your doctor recommends the routine treatment — hysterectomy. The answer is, to seek a second or third opinion(I had 7) until you feel comfortable with a procedure that will be the least brutal. Even with the most talented surgeon( the body cares not of the doc’s credentials) and at the finest hospital, surgery is trauma . Trauma means major blood loss, swelling, and all manner of nerve and pain signals that can hang around for months. The very last treatment for an elected procedure should be surgery and hospitalization. Yet we now know that it is routinely offered as the first line of defense for a benign condition.
Remember Dr. Oz’s frightening statistic? Well, just when you think it is safe to come out from under the bed, take a look at these heart-warming fun-facts………………..
*3 women a day( in the USA) die on an operating table with a hysterectomy
*90% of hysterectomies are unnecessary (non-cancerous)
*American women undergo twice as many hysterectomies per capita as British women, 4 times as
many as Swedish women
*Hysterectomy is the 2nd most commonly performed surgery on women (after C-section)
*The uterus has a purpose other than a womb for the developing fetus. It is a hormone responsive
sex organ that has structural and physiological functions
*The uterus and the ovaries play an important roll: 1.the immune system 2.protection against heart
disease (7 times greater) 3.protection against osteoporosis 4. keeping sexual desire
*Removing the ovaries during a hysterectomy (unless there is a cancer concern) actually raises the
woman’s health risk
*The average age of a hysterectomy was 42 years old a decade ago. Now the average age is 36 yrs.
*Hysterectomy is a 17 billion dollar annual industry…B-I-N-G-O!!!!!
The madness and hysteria (hmmmm) must stop! I have said it before, but it bears repeating over and over and over again; the way to change unnecessary surgical procedures from routinely being performed, is to JUST SAY NO!! No, I want a second opinion. Those six little words — no, i want a second opinion — will change your life towards a more health-filled direction and begin the chipping away of routinely offered surgical solutions for benign conditions. A final precautionary word or two. Regardless of the reasons for a hospital stay, everyone must have a patient advocate. And if you are representing a patient, you are in the fortunate position of becoming a positive addition to an understaffed hospital industry. You, with your advocacy in place, will be thanked and appreciated by more than just your loved ones. Working together, we can dilute the statistic that the Great and Powerful Dr. Oz presented for all of us during that fateful day on the Oprah Show.
- Study Seeks Women’s Insights on What Works Best for Uterine Fibroids
- CTV News Shares Story and Video about Focused Ultrasound Therapy for Uterine Fibroids
- FDA Approves Upgraded System, Acknowledges that Women Can Preserve their Fertility with Focused Ultrasound Fibroid Treatment
- HuffingtonPost.ca Publishes Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center Article About Treatment for Uterine Fibroids Beyond Hysterectomy
- HealthNewsDigest.com Publishes Fibroid Relief Article About Non-Hysterectomy Treatment Options for Uterine Fibroids
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