RAPID CITY, S.D. — In the United States, a hysterectomy is a common surgery for women hoping to relieve long lasting discomfort and serious health conditions. While the benefits of this procedure can be tremendous in some cases, it is important to know that it is not a catch-all solution.
Each patient’s case and needs are different, and every major surgery requires careful thought and consideration. Common circumstances that lead to a hysterectomy include cervical and uterine cancers, abnormal or persistent bleeding, fibroids, and enlarged or prolapsed uterus that causes constant discomfort or pain.
Dr. Heather Moline, gynecologist at Rapid City Medical Center, says that in the right cases the surgery can be transformative. “We have to be conscious that one procedure is not always the best procedure for everyone,” Dr. Moline says, “but when it is the right procedure for the right patient, it is a life changing surgery.”
“The most recent literature is not supportive of hysterectomies for those who have not tried alternative therapies,” she says. Because of the possible complications that come with any surgical procedure, Dr. Moline says that other, less invasive options should be discussed and explored. For those who have not found relief with alternate treatments like hormone therapy, a hysterectomy may be the best option. “Generally speaking,” Dr. Moline says, “a hysterectomy is a great procedure for a vast majority of patients, but it doesn’t solve every problem for everyone.”
Patients who decide to undergo a hysterectomy after experiencing constant pain and discomfort are often surprised by how the procedure can change their life. “Most patients are grateful that they did the procedure and a lot of them wish they would have done it sooner,” Dr. Moline says.
“There are many women who think that a hysterectomy will solve all of their problems, or that it is the best thing for them, but what is most important is that women seek care that is individualized for them, that they are given all of their alternative options, because a hysterectomy is a major surgery, it’s not without risks, and there are usually alternatives that they should consider before moving straight to a hysterectomy.”