Preliminary note: Many people consider surgical removal of the uterus, with ovaries left in the body, to be a “partial hysterectomy”. Actually, the term hysterectomy refers only to the uterus, not the ovaries. When surgeons remove the uterus and ovaries it is called a hysterectomy with bilateral (both sides) salpingoophorectomy (tubes and ovaries removed). To surgeons, the term partial hysterectomy infers removal of the body of the uterus with the cervix left in place, or more accurately, “subtotal” or “supracervical” hysterectomy.
Dr. R, I had a partial Hysterectomy in 2002. I had been having pain on my right side. Find out that it is a cyst. The pain is very intense and is getting worsre. I want my doctor to finish the hysterectomy this time instead of just removing the cyst because he said it could come back. I am 43yrs old. Do you think this is wise to just go ahead and have the full hysterectomy this time? And also do you think that I would go straight into menopause at this age. I don’t want them to keep going in and out.
Thanks Dr. R
If indeed the cyst is the source of pain, something that only your examining physician can determine, then at minimum the cyst must be removed if it does not resolve spontaneously, and some cysts, particularly cysts that occur as a result of ovulation, do resolve spontaneously. Cysts that are large, twisting (called ovarian torsion), not associated with ovulation, or are suspicious of containing cancer must be surgically removed and sometimes cannot be removed without totally removing the ovary from which they arise.
To remove both ovaries will bring on abrupt surgical menopause to any woman at any age, unless of course she has already gone through natural menopause. The average age of menopause is 51, so the decision to induce this in yourself 8 years earlier than might otherwise occur requires careful counseling from your doctor and consideration from yourself. You may benefit from perusing the patient resources on the North American Menopause Society website: http://www.menopause.org/Consumers.aspx. As with all other complicated surgical decisions, you may want to obtain other clinical opinions from consultants who review your test reports combined with a physical exam to give you the answers to the issues outlined in this response. Obviously, given the pain involved, such second opinions are to be arranged urgently! Do not delay. Keep us posted…