Hysterectomies

hysterectomy

hysterectomy (hĬstərĕk´təmē), surgical removal of the uterus. A hysterectomy may involve removal of the uterus only or additional removal of the cervix (base of the uterus), fallopian tubes (salpingectomy), and ovaries (oophorectomy). It may be performed through a conventional abdominal incision or through the vagina. It is performed in cases of malignant tumors, endometriosis, prolapsed uterus, or fibroids that cause bleeding and pain. An emergency hysterectomy is sometimes necessary to end uterine hemorrhaging.

Removal does not physically interfere with sexual activity, but it does eliminate the uterine contractions of orgasm. It also eliminates the possibility of childbearing and precipitates menopause in premenopausal women. Surgical removal of the ovaries eliminates their production of estrogen and progesterone along with these hormones's protective benefits to the heart, bones, and skin.

Some women's health advocates have questioned what they feel is the overuse of hysterectomy in the United States, where it is the second most common surgical procedure. Some studies have judged that up to 25% of hysterectomies performed in the United States are unnecessary and that more conservative treatments (laparoscopic surgery, hormone therapy, or simple removal of fibroids) would suffice in these cases.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

You Don't Need a Hysterectomy: New and Effective Ways of Avoiding Major Surgery
Ivan K. Strausz.
Perseus Books, 2001
Do You Really Need Surgery? A Sensible Guide to Hysterectomy and Other Procedures for Women
Michele C. Moore; Caroline M. de Costa.
Rutgers University Press, 2004
Quality of Care for General Medical Conditions: A Review of the Literature and Quality Indicators
Eve A. Kerr; Steven M. Asch; Eric G. Hamilton; Elizabeth A. McGlynn.
Rand, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "Hysterectomy"
Understanding Menopause
Karen Ballard.
Wiley, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Hysterectomy" begins on p. 46
Etiology and Pathogenesis of Uterine Leiomyomas: A Review. (Research Review)
Flake, Gordon P.; Andersen, Janet; Dixon, Darlene.
Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 111, No. 8, June 15, 2003
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Impact of Occupational Exposure on Lead Levels in Women
Popovic, Marija; McNeill, Fiona E.; Chettle, David R.; Webber, Colin E.; Lee, C. Virginia; Kaye, Wendy E.
Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 113, No. 4, April 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Womens Mid-Life Rites of Passage and "The Goddess of Hysterectomy"
Coulbrooke, Star.
Western Folklore, Vol. 61, No. 2, Summer 2002
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