Long Term Risks of Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is the most common recommended treatment option for uterine fibroids.  While hysterectomy presents an easier surgery for doctors, it may be the most problematic treatment option for women.

Women who consider hysterectomy should be aware of the many long-term risks of that surgery.  Many of these risks are risks that doctors fail to discuss with their patients, probably because these risks are related to the loss of the uterus and not to the surgery itself.

According to one article, women who receive estrogen after a hysterectomy are less likely to die from heart attacks and strokes.  The article discusses that the health problems are not expected as a result of hysterectomy. The article is from 1977 and focuses on women that have had their ovaries removed.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1396159/

It would seem from that article that doctors will perform hysterectomies without knowing the full scope of risks. There are not enought studies to show the full scope of risks when the uterus only is removed, but there are studies and risks that doctors fail to discuss with their patients. Some
examples follow.

When ovaries are retained, a women will still suffer significant bone loss according to one heavily cited 1995 article.
http://www.greenjournal.org/cgi/content/abstract/86/1/72.

A 1988 article discusses that women that have hysterectomies suffer a greater degree of bone loss than women that undergo natural menopause and women that have their ovaries removed suffer more bone loss than women with hysterectomies only. Estrogen replacement therapy helped prevent the bone loss in women that have had their ovaries removed, but it did not help other groups that include hysterectomy-only patients.
http://www.greenjournal.org/cgi/content/abstract/72/4/631

Here is an article about ovarian failure after hysterectomy.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8347392

Hysterectomy has many health risks that include significant bone loss, tooth loss caused by bone loss, increased risk of death from heart attack or stroke, and loss of bladder control. Hysterectomy is a risk-filled elective procedure with alternatives.