Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - University of Virginia - 7

For some women, hysterectomy
remains the best option. "Anytime
there is cancer of the uterus, ovaries
or cervix, a hysterectomy is necessary,"
Barron says. "Also, some women may
have very large fibroids or other conditions that are unlikely to respond to
nonsurgical interventions."

Important
Considerations

So what exactly does a hysterectomy
entail? "There is a common misconception that hysterectomy means the
removal of the ovaries, but it really only
refers to the removal of the uterus,"
Barron says. In fact, the most commonly
performed hysterectomy
is the total hysterecWEBSITE
tomy, which involves the
removal of the cervix
and uterus; the ovaries
remain intact.
To remove the ovaries would be a separate
Menopause, including surgical
decision, Barron says.
menopause brought about by
And it's a decision not to
hysterectomy, may put you at
be taken lightly. That's
greater risk for heart disease.
because recent studFind out more at uvahealth.
ies have shown that the
com/menopauserisk.
estrogen produced by the
ovaries has protective
qualities. "There's been a shift in the
past 15 years to preserve the ovaries. If
a hysterectomy, many will have an
removing them doesn't change the outoption available to them that is easier
come for the patient, then it's best for
on the body, with fewer side effects
the patient to keep them," Barron says.
and a faster recovery compared with
For approximately 50 percent of
open surgery.
women who have a hysterectomy, keeping their ovaries isn't an option. Barron
When It's Necessary
says, "Anytime there is a family or
and When It's Not
personal history of breast or ovarian
Also thanks to recent medical
cancer, then it's beneficial to remove
advances, conditions like uterine
the ovaries."
fibroids and pelvic pain often can be
If you are considering having a hystreated effectively with medication
terectomy or the procedure has been
or noninvasive procedures. The
recommended for you, talk to your docAmerican College of Obstetricians
tor about the options available. Not all
and Gynecologists encourages
hysterectomies are created equal-get
physicians to inform patients about
informed so that you can choose the
hysterectomy alternatives.
procedure that's right for you. n

PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES

Watch Your Risk
for Heart Disease

HOW TO
MANAGE
SURGICAL
MENOPAUSE
A hysterectomy, along with the
removal of both ovaries, immediately
deprives a woman's body of estrogen.
As a result, women enter what is
known as surgical menopause, with
all of the symptoms that you might
expect during traditional menopause.
Prescribed hormone replacement
therapy will alleviate many of these,
according to University of Virginia
Health System gynecologist Kenneth
Barron, MD. He gives more tips for
managing some of the most common symptoms:

WEIGHT GAIN It's true there is

a shift in metabolism once you reach
menopause, which means the body
has more time to turn excess calories
into fat. The only solution, Barron
says, is modifying the number of
calories consumed and the number
of calories burned. (Hint: Eat less,
exercise more.)

HOT FLASHES AND
NIGHT SWEATS In addition

to estrogen supplements, there are
nonhormonal medications that
may offer relief. Some studies have
shown that acupuncture can help
relieve hot flashes as well.

MOOD SWINGS Selective

serotonin reuptake inhibitors or
antidepressant medications may be
prescribed to those experiencing
depression or anxiety. These drugs
have also proved to help alleviate
night sweats and hot flashes.

SLEEP DISTURBANCES

Keep the room dark, limit caffeine,
avoid television and phone use at
bedtime and reduce fluid intake
at night. You might also try sleep
aids or supplements like melatonin
until symptoms subside.

SUMME R 2017

7


http://uvahealth.com/menopauserisk http://uvahealth.com/menopauserisk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - University of Virginia - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - University of Virginia - 2
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