How common are hysterectomies?

My mom has a mystery illness. It is a mystery because she is not sharing details with me. Either she is uncomfortable talking about “girl stuff” or she is unwilling to burden my with her health problems when I am just recovering from my own…

Anyway, what I have overheard are: recurring urinary tract infections and a possible hysterectomy.

When talking about this with a friend, she said: Your mom is 66, I’m surprised they haven’t done one already. It is usually the first thing that they do after menopause.

This seems odd to me. Is this true? Is it very common to automatically do a hysterectomy once a woman reaches menopause?

Note: Mom is seeing a specialist and I am not asking for medical advice. I’m curious about the veracity of my friend’s statement.

It would depend on the patient and what her problems are. In my experience, they’re not THAT common. If the patient is having heavy bleeding, fibroids that keep coming back after having several D&Cs…that sort of thing. Most doctors do NOT give someone a hysto just because they want one. It’s something that carries some risk, as does almost any surgery, so the choice of the doctor to give someone a hysto isn’t taken too lightly.

For what it’s worth, I had my hysto about 2 years ago, because of fibroids that kept coming back (I’d had at LEAST 8 D&Cs, but then I lost count. I’m sure it was more than that). Plus, my cervical cancer came back, after being cancer-free for several years.

Besides, anyone who actually WANTS a hysto, for no good reason other than just making their periods stop (which is what some women have done, believe it or not!), is crazy, since the recovery time is several weeks (I just know this from having the abdominal surgery. I have no idea about the vaginal surgery. I’ve heard that it’s a much shorter recovery time) and the pain is UNREAL. Just my two cents…

Also, maybe your mom is having her bladder lifted, since having a fallen bladder does account for many UTIs. Having it lifted will probably take care of that problem for her!

Cite:
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Cystocele?OpenDocument

I understand that they used to do it far more often than they do now. Far more often. Decades and decades ago my aunt had one before the days of hormone replacement therapy, I forget why, and only now do her kids realize why she was so crazy and mean sometimes afterwards. (Besides crazy and mean being a family trait, that is.)