A Hysterectomy Is Not A Cure
Before I get any further into my post, let me go one step further: THERE IS NO CURE FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS. I apologize for the capitalization but I feel the need to scream it from the top of my lungs so that everyone can hear it! I just don’t understand how we can be living in the 21st century and still not have any more of an understanding or a handle on a disease such as this. The closest thing that we have to a cure at the present time is excision of endometriosis through laparoscopic surgery. And, there are only a small percentage of surgeons who have the skills needed to successfully perform this surgery.
Why Isn’t a Hysterectomy a Cure?
Endometriosis is a disease in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. It can be found in many different places of the body. So, if the uterus (and possibly ovaries) is removed during a hysterectomy, endometriosis can be left inside the abdominal cavity and other areas of the body where it can remain after the hysterectomy.
Can a Hysterectomy Help?
There may be some cases where a hysterectomy may help if the person has the “sister” disease called adenomyosis. In adenomyosis the endometrial tissue exists within and grows into the uterine wall. A hysterectomy is the cure for adenomyosis but again, if endometriosis is present outside the uterus and it is not excised at the time of the hysterectomy, the patient’s emdometriosis associated pain may not be resolved.
A Cry For Better Care
In the short time I have known about endometriosis (it was first really mentioned to me 5 years ago but I’m certain I didn’t even look it up then) most people I encounter either don’t really know what endometriosis is or they know someone who has had a hysterectomy “because they had it.” I recently had a doctor tell me that if I was really certain that I was not going to look into IVF that I should just go ahead and do a hysterectomy because that would just “take care of your endometriosis, too.” The non-assertive person that I am on the outside just quietly left his office but the Sassy girl I’m becoming (or the assertively sassy girl my counselor would like me to be) wanted to tell him what I know to be true. As a teacher I have a hard time with this. I understand that teachers/doctors make mistakes and are not correct 100% of the time but I also really don’t feel like it’s the student’s/patient’s place to correct the teacher/doctor. I think it’s a respect thing.
It Starts With Education
Most gynecologists also have the abbreviation OB in front of the GYN…and I have a feeling that they spend very little time learning about endometriosis. Unfortunately, there seem to be many doctors who call themselves “endometriosis specialists” but are not truly skilled in excising endometriosis. I saw one of those doctors the first surgery that I had and while I’m sure he had very good intentions, had we known what we were getting into (just how bad my endometriosis was), we would have researched it even more. I am confident that if I would have seen a skilled endometriosis surgeon the first time, my outcome would have been very different than it is today.
These doctors MUST have better training. More research needs to be done and more time needs to be spent learning about endometriosis. People should not have to travel so far to get quality care.
The same doctor who told me that a hysterectomy would take care of my endometriosis also told me: “you’re not going to die from endometriosis.” Really???
At some point I intend to transfer over all of my previous blog posts but for now you’ll want to head over to Show Me Posh – My Endometriosis Journey to read more about my personal experience leading up to my current situation.