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Hysterectomy With Ovaries Left Intact Also Tied To Health Risks


Hysterectomy, which refers to the surgical removal of a woman's uterus, is the second most common gynecologic surgery performed in the United States, next only to Caesarean Sections.

It is estimated that about 600,000 American women have a hysterectomy every year, and roughly 20 million American women have had a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is done mostly to treat benign conditions like uterine fibroid or uterine prolapse. It is a common practice to remove a woman's ovaries too during hysterectomy.

There have been studies indicating there is a link between removal of both ovaries at the time of hysterectomy and a risk for heart disease, cancer, and premature death, and women are aware of this risk.

Now, a research conducted by Mayo Clinic suggests that hysterectomy done with ovaries left intact also is associated with increased long-term health risks, especially for women who undergo hysterectomy prior to age 35.

The finding was based on data involving 2,094 Olmsted County resident women who had a hysterectomy with ovarian conservation for benign disease between Jan. 1, 1980, and Dec. 31, 2002, when they were aged 18 years old or older on the date of their hysterectomy.

Women who had a hysterectomy without any ovary removal had a 14 percent increased risk in lipid abnormalities, a 13 percent increased risk of high blood pressure, an 18 percent increased risk of obesity and a 33 percent increased risk of coronary artery disease compared to a woman residing in the same county who had not had a hysterectomy or any ovaries removed, according to the researchers. Also, women younger than 35 who had a hysterectomy without any ovary removal had a 4.6-fold increased risk of congestive heart failure and a 2.5-fold increased risk of coronary artery disease.

Commenting on the findings, Shannon Laughlin-Tommaso, study author and Mayo Clinic OB-GYN says, "This is the best data to date that shows women undergoing hysterectomy have a risk of long-term disease -- even when both ovaries are conserved."

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