Each year, hundreds of thousands of women have hysterectomies, involving the surgical removal of the uterus and, in some cases, the cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Dr. Mitchell Levine, of Visions HealthCare in Dedham and Wellesley, says that up to 90 percent of women that are advised to have hysterectomies don’t really need them. “The effects of a hysterectomy can impact one’s physical, emotional, sexual and overall health,” says Levine. “Women should be offered treatment alternatives that are less damaging.”
Levine says that uterine fibroids, the leading cause for most hysterectomies, are present in about 30 percent of women and usually don’t require surgery. “In cases where heavy bleeding, anemia, pressure on other organs and pain warrants surgery, fibroids can be removed without removing the entire uterus,” he says, noting that the same is true for ovarian cysts.
For women suffering with endometriosis, Levine recommends laparoscopic surgery to preserve the uterus and ovaries, and such alternative treatments as dietary changes, herbs, acupuncture and hormonal adjustments. Heavy bleeding, which is often caused by fibroids, polyps or hormonal imbalances, can also be treated with these same methods. “In more severe cases, an endometrial ablation or hysteroscopic myomectomy, both minimally invasive procedures, can be performed,” says Levine. “With the exception of cancer cases, a woman’s sexual and reproductive organs can and should be preserved to maintain her optimum wellness.”
Location: Visions HealthCare, 910 Washington St., Dedham, and 100 Second Ave, Needham. For more information, call 781-431-1333 or visit VisionsHealthCare.com.