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Can Endometriosis Return after a Hysterectomy?

Can Endometriosis Return after a Hysterectomy?

Answer:

Endometriosis CAN return after a hysterectomy.

More Info: Women with endometriosis endure painful periods each month that often last seven or more days. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but there is evidence of a genetic link. For some women, a hysterectomy, or surgical removal of the uterus, is done in attempt to curtail the painful symptoms of this illness. Unfortunately, a hysterectomy is not a cure for endometriosis.

What is Endometriosis?

The thickening of the lining of the uterus is part of the menstruation process. When a woman has endometriosis, the cells that line the womb grow outside of the uterus. Often they implant on other organs like the ovaries or bowels. This leads to scarring and chronic pain.

Performing a Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is the second most common surgery performed on women. Endometriosis is a significant reason that statistic is so high. Logically, it would follow that if you remove the uterus, there is no thickening of the lining and, by definition, no endometriosis. This is not true, however.

Return of Symptoms after Surgery

The uterus is not the culprit in endometriosis. Stimulation of cell growth comes from the ovaries. Each month, they release a hormone that begins the growth process. Surgery that only removes the uterus and cervix is an ineffective treatment to eliminate symptoms. The hysterectomy must include a bilateral oophorectomy, as well. This means removal of the entire reproductive system including the ovaries and Fallopian tubes. After the bilateral oophorectomy, menopause will automatically begin.

If a surgeon performs only a hysterectomy, you will probably continue to experience the symptoms of endometriosis. Once the ovaries are out, the condition will stop, but menopause begins. That means hot flashes, mood changes and other discomforts. This is why surgery to remove the reproductive organs is a last resort in premenopausal women with endometriosis.

 

REFERENCES:

“Endometriosis – Hysterectomy.” University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_radical_surgery_hysterectomy_endometriosis_000074_11.htm

“Endometriosis: Treatments and drugs – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012.  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/endometriosis/DS00289/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

 

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