Ok, so that title is a little bit much. I have trouble avoiding some good alliteration sometimes.
I just read an interesting article in the Washington Post about one woman’s experience with hysterectomy. Another issue that is not really on the radar of midwives and doulas, let alone reproductive rights groups.
Stephanie Weiss discusses how she had to do a lot of badgering, as well as her own research to finally find a doctor who was willing to do a minimally invasive laparoscopic hysterectomy. And she didn’t get her entire system removed either, just the uterus and her melon sized fibroid (non-cancerous growth).
A surgeon removed my uterus — then the size of a 20-week pregnancy — through a quarter-inch hole near my belly button, leaving my ovaries and cervix intact.
From her perspective, the procedure she received was nothing compared to how most women still get their hysterectomies, what she calls “her mother’s hysterectomy,” through a large horizontal incision in the belly.
Old myths — including the one about minimally invasive surgery being excessively risky — die hard. Research shows that, in experienced hands, the risk of minimally invasive procedures is the same as or less than the risk of abdominal hysterectomy, Streicher said. But George says that 80 percent of the hysterectomies now done abdominally could be done laparoscopically.
Another instance in reproductive health care where women may not be getting the information they need to make the best options.