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Friday, November 14, 2008

Women's Health

Ladies, please read this important information! Three years ago I had a partial hysterectomy which has left me unable to have any more children. Looking back I wish there had been other options for me.

As women, and especially women who have had kids, many of us may find ourselves in a position where our OBGYN recommends a hysterectomy to solve a variety of issues around heavy periods. The frightening prospect of surgery leaves us relying on our doctors to advise the best course of action. In such a situation, however, we need to know as much information as possible to ensure we sign up for the best treatment option, and it may not be the first one your doctor recommends.

This outreach serves as an important women's health alert, informing women about their options regarding minimally invasive treatments for heavy bleeding as well as a number of other common pelvic health conditions - fibroids, stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. In fact, they are so common that one-third of women will experience one or more of these conditions in their lifetime due to a variety of factors - most commonly pregnancy and childbirth.

But treatment options exist for these conditions that do not require traditional surgery, which frequently comes with a higher risk of complications and a longer healing process. Minimally invasive procedures, done quickly and relatively easily, usually require much less time to heal, and there's a lot less pain, too. Yet many of us do not even know they exist, as we rely on information from our doctors who may suggest the outdated approaches because they lack the skill to perform the newer, less invasive ones or even because new endoscopic procedures bring less income to the doctor or hospital.

The US News & World reported that, out of the one in four women who receive hysterectomies, approximately 85% are still treated with traditional open abdominal surgical methods, despite the perfection of a decades old laparoscopic procedure that leaves the ovaries and cervix in place. Click here to read the full article.

Women need to take control of their health care decisions so they can make informed choices. We urge you to learn more from AAGL, the professional association of doctors who perform minimally invasive treatments. Their site, www.AAGL.org, provides patient education, the latest news on the minimally invasive horizon, and a physician finder for doctors in your area commited to using the least invasive methods possible. Please help us in spreading the word to the women in your life about these innovative treatments. If a doctor proves unwilling or unable to perform minimally invasive procedures, you should feel empowered to seek out a second opinion from a gynecologist who offers less invasive options.

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