Endometriosis after Hysterectomy: How is it Possible?
endometriosis after hysterectomy
Over the years doctors have recommendedhysterectomy as a cure for endometriosis because it is widely believed that removing the affected organs will get rid of the disease. This idea comes from observations as far back as the 1920’s that endometriosis was rarely seen after the menopause. Interestingly enough hysterectomy can induce menopause.
A hysterectomy can be very distressing, especially for young women who want children.
Endometrial Cells Left Undetected
Although some women with endometriosis are advised by their doctor to have a hysterectomy, evidence has shown that even after surgery in some cases endometrial cells can be left behind undetected in the pelvic area leading to a reoccurrence of the disease.
Estrogen Encourages Endometrial Cell Growth
Endometriosis causes endometrial cells to grow in the tissue which lines the pelvis and over the ovaries and fallopian tubes. When a partial hysterectomy is performed, the uterus is removed but the cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries are left intact. However, the ovaries produce estrogen which is the hormone that encourages endometrial cells to remain and this is why it often reoccurs even after a partial hysterectomy.
With a total hysterectomy the ovaries are, in some cases, left intact so again there is a chance that endometriosis can return because the ovaries are still producing estrogen. Sometimes additional surgery is required to remove the ovaries. When this is the case it means there is less chance of endometriosis returning.
If HRT (“hormone replacement therapy) is required to help with the symptoms of menopause brought on by a hysterectomyit can have adverse effects .
HRT Can Promote Endometriosis
In some cases when women have had a hysterectomy they are given HRT to help deal with menopausal symptoms. Unfortunately in this circumstance HRT can often make matters worse because the estrogen hormone which is given as part of the treatment can cause endometriosis to start again.
If it is likely that you will need to have a hysterectomy to help combat endometriosis then it is advisable to speak to your doctor to discuss whether you can have some other form of surgery, such as a laparoscopy, or whether having a hysterectomy is the best way forward for you. If you don’t feel that your doctor is looking at all the options, ask to be referred to a laparoscopy specialist.
Unfortunately a lot of women won’t have been offered any alternative treatments so what’s the best step forward for them?
Treating Endometriosis after Hysterectomy
Many women who have had a hysterectomy are still living with painful endometriosis. Sometimes drugs may be prescribed to suppress the function of the ovaries (even if no ovaries are present) or they may be referred to pain clinics.
The simple fact is that endometriosis often persists after a hysterectomy because this type of surgery removes the organs instead of the disease. Any endometrial implants that have been left in the abdomen will continue to grow.
Treating endometriosis successfully requires investigatory procedures and the removal of all of the disease from all areas of the body including the bowel andbladder which many surgeons overlook.
During the procedure a biopsy is taken by laparoscopy to determine whether it is in fact endometriosis and if it is then it can be removed. In this procedure diagnosis is never left to chance and it focuses on the disease rather than the symptoms. In a lot of casessymptoms can relate to other problems, not just endometriosis.
Natural Preventative Treatment
Most natural treatments relieve symptoms of endometriosis but can also help the body to eliminate any underlying causes of the disease.Simple dietary changes can be effective. More nutrients and fiber is beneficial and will help regulate hormonal balance and rid the body of excess estrogen. Reducing body fat is another important factor as fat acts as a production site for estrogen. Supplements will replace any vitamins and minerals that may be lacking from your diet.
As you may have deduced from reading this article entitled:"Endometriosis after Hysterectomy: How is it Possible?" Hysterectomy is not always sufficient to deal with endometriosis. However, there are other options that you can consider. Listen to your doctor, but don’t be afraid to seek a second opinionanddifferent treatment options.
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