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Is Hysterectomy a Cure for Endometriosis?

happy-woman-fieldIf your doctor suspects you have endometriosis there are a variety of treatments available to help manage symptoms and prevent your condition from getting worse.  However, there is no official cure.  Ladies who have endometriosis will have to manage their condition long-term through a variety of treatments.

Current treatment includes surgery to find and remove all endometrial growths, removal of any tissues or organs that may have been severely damaged (ovaries, for example), and doing what we can to prevent more endometrial growths from coming back.  This oftentimes means hormone balance, placement of an IUD, medication, and/or dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce overall inflammation.  Sometimes these treatments work for many years, and women find that their quality of life is much improved.  And sometimes despite our best efforts, endometrial growths come back.

There are many websites falsely suggesting a hysterectomy is the cure for endometriosis.  It cannot be considered a cure.  Instead, we consider a hysterectomy the final treatment when all the other treatments have not worked.  Most of my patients who elect to have a hysterectomy due to endometriosis have had multiple surgeries, have had ovaries or Fallopian tubes damaged and removed, are in constant pain, cannot find relief from symptoms through medication or lifestyle changes, have unresolved heavy bleeding, or have adenomyosis (which happens when endometrial implants migrate inside the uterus wall instead of just attaching to the outside).

My job as your doctor is to educate and inform you of your options, make a reasonable recommendation for treatment, and then support whatever decision you make.  The decision to have a hysterectomy is a serious issue that comes with its own treatment plan, and although it is likely to drastically reduce or even eliminate endometriosis symptoms, a hysterectomy should not be thought of as a cure for endometriosis.

 

 

Posted in Endometriosis, Hormone Therapy, Hormones, Hysterectomy, Pain/Chronic Pain, Surgery, Treatments

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