Hysterectomy alternatives come to mind when the initial shock starts wearing off. Please be sure to watch as many videos as you can from our hysterectomy video page, that will help you make an informed decision. Also, see what types of hysterectomy exist, then start investigating into several different directions at once:
1) Instead of classical hysterectomy, is there any other kind of hysterectomy that might suit you better? In particular, if it needs to be hysterectomy after all, is there a less invasive variant such as laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy!?
Or, there may be a classical surgical procedure that eliminates the need for hysterectomy, such as abdominal myomectomy.
2) Is there another kind of surgery that might override the need for hysterectomy? If it can be a minimally invasive type of surgery, with short hospital stay and rapid recovery aftermath, so much the better. In this hysterectomy scenario, you trade one cumbersome surgery for another.
Laparoscopic and hysteroscopic procedures may fit the bill here perfectly, ditto for the many types of endometrial ablation.
3) Finally, how about healing yourself without any kind of surgery at all? (Hint, hint — this is what this site is all about!)
Surgical Hysterectomy Alternatives For Uterine Fibroids
If you want to preserve fertility and you have a case of uterine fibroids (myoma), go for myomectomy, which can be abdominal or vaginal (hysteroscopic myomectomy), and there also is laparoscopic myomectomy. If childbearing is not important any more, you can opt for endometrial ablation, which destroys endometrium, the inner layer of the uterus, but preserves the rest of the uterus intact.
Myolysis is destruction of fibroids by methods such as electric electrodes, laser beams, freezing (cryo techniques). Myolysis has been in use since the 1990s and is generally abandoned as a treatment for uterine fibroids. because any error in surgery will finally lead to hysterectomy.
A relatively new method of avoiding hysterectomy is uterine artery embolization, often shorthened as UAE. Tiny particles are injected into the uterine arteries and fibroids connected to that artery lose food. In theory, the result is that 40-60% of the fibroids shrink and the symptoms disappear, however, currently this procedure is only at the “investigational level”, which means it is not readily recommended by the gynecologist. The list of what can go wrong after UAE is too long for anybody’s comfort so you would do well to investigate all other options before taking a plunge into uterine artery embolization direction.
Another new method for shrinking fibroids is MR-guided focused ultrasound surgery. The patient lies on her back ultrasound waves are guided through the Magnetic Resonance Imagery. The method is still new, so that not many such machines exists in the USA and still less in the rest of the world. The future of this method — its long term results and complications are still unknown.
Adhesiolysis is cutting adhesions, tissue that binds otherwise separated pelvic organs. About 20% of women have problems because of such adhesions, which arise from an injury such as previous pelvic or abdominal surgery, infections, endometriosis, cancer or radiation therapy, intra-abdominal trauma, say from ectopic pregnancy, appendicitis etc.
Surgical Hysterectomy Alternatives For Adenomyosis
Adenomyosis is the penetration and growth of endometrial tissue into the endometrium. It is also called the internal endometriosis, because just like in ordinary endomtriosis, the abnomally located endometrial tissue follows the flow of sexual hormones and bleeds with the menses. In the end, the uterus becomes swollen, often larger and globular. Localized state of adenomyosis is called adenomyoma, which look like other uterine masses, especially the fibroids. The main difference is that the fibroids can be cut away with relative ease, while the adenomyoma go deep into the uterine muscle. Therefore, removing the adenomyoma must at the same time be removing of a part of the uterus itself.
There may be pregnancy if the adenomyoma are present, but for many women who cannot get pregnant and have no other symptoms, the presence of adenomyoma must be suspected and examined for. It is best done through MRI — magnetic resonance imagining, or through a high resolution vaginal ultrasound. It is important that the results be examined by a true expert, because then the adenomyoma can be located in more than 90% of cases. If the presence of adenomyoma is not discovered, the patient may have strong dysfunctional uterine bleeding, which will, in the end, lead to hysterectomy, because of the nespecific treatment.
As far as surgeries go, it is possible to cut away the part of the uterus with the adenomyoma, and then to repair the rest. There cannot be a pregnancy after such an intervention, but the uterus and the ovaries remain as intact as possible, while the dysfunctional bleeding stops. In many cases, such a solution is more than enough and the main goal is achieved — the hysterectomy is avoided for good.
Surgical Hysterectomy Alternatives For Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding
DUB is excessive uterine bleeding which is not cause by an organic condition. DUB is present if none of the following is present: endometrial polyps, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, endometrial or cervical cancer, pelvic infection including endometritis (infection of the lining of the uterus), endometriosis, polycystic ovarian disease, ovarian cyst or tumor, thyroid dysfunction (hypo- or hyperthyroidism) or blood clotting abnormalities (coagulopathy). All these must be excluded in order to make a proper diagnosis. Without that proper diagnosis, the treatment will fail, so no wonder that in the USA 20% of hysterectomies go under the cover of DUB.
Endometrial ablation usually resolves 70-80% of DUB cases. However, some 25% of the patients continue with the bleedings, and may have to undergo repeated ablations. Even that is (much) better than the all-ending hysterectomy — if you get diagnosed with DUB, be persistent and undertake as many examinations as needed, until the true cause of the bleeding is found. Once it is found, you can be cured and hysterectomy will stop being an excuse for improper diagnosing or the lack of will to perform it.
Surgical Hysterectomy Alternatives For Endometriosis
Endometriosis is the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. Just as in the uterus itself, the endometrial tissue follows the pattern of hormonal excretions and “prepares” itself for the conception. It leads to local bleeding, irritation, scars forming of adhesions, and inflammation. The best known example are so-called chocolate cysts (endometriomas), cysts of the ovaries which contain old blood, which on the ultrasound are seen in the color of chocolate.
19% of all hysterectomies in the USA are due to endometriosis, which is a pity in itself. Namely, up to 63% of patients that had hysterectomy for endometriosis still had recurrent problems which led them to the hysterectomy in the first place. In other words, hysterectomy is not a quality answer to endometriosis, unless practically all the symptoms were located around the uterus and ovaries.
Surgery to resolve endometriosis has its place if it’s aim is to resect or destroy endometriotic implants, remove the chocolate cyst, remove pelvic adhesions and perform turboplasty, which is repairing obstructed falopian tubes. It is also possible to cut off the nerves that provide sensation to the uterus and lower uterine segment, which helps to permanently relieve the menstrual pain in a bit more than 50% of cases. Such an operation is called laparoscopic uterosacral nerve ablation, and it is also possible to do a presacral neurectomy which severes nerve fibers which convey pain from the uterus and pelvic floor.
All in all, hysterectomy for endometriosis may help here and there, but is far from magic wand. Homeopathy for endometriosis will do for you much more than you think is possible, if applied properly and before the surgery.
Energy Healing Methods As Hysterectomy Alternatives
There also are energy healing methods that can act as hysterectomy alternatives. One of them might just be your ticket to get better without any surgery at all!