Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hysterectomy? Slow down!

Hysterectomy: Putting On
The Brakes

The highest risk factor for hysterectomy is not the presence of disease. Women with intact female organs who have "routine" medical exams and public or private medical insurance are most at risk for hysterectomy.

When hysterectomy is recommended, most women respond by telling the doctor that removing their uterus is too drastic for the reason given for the operation. A small number of women think it would be freeing to not have menstrual cramps, bleeding, and PMS, but most women want to put on the brakes and slow down the rush toward surgery. Nonetheless, one out of every three women undergo hysterectomy by the age of 60, without the information required for informed consent.

The reason so many women are hysterectomized without informed consent is remarkably simple...as is the solution.

Many of the functions of the female organs - such as cardiovascular protection, pelvic support, and uterine orgasm to name a few - are not visible. On the other hand, because the male organs are visible, as are many of their functions, men would never consider the amputation of their male organs to be freeing. The solution to preventing unnecessary hysterectomy, then, is providing women with information about female anatomy and the functions of the female organs.

THE H WORD, the book co-authored by Nora W. Coffey and Rick Schweikert, tells the story of how and why the HERS video "Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs" was produced, and why it is at the heart of a legislative solution to end unwarranted hysterectomy and female castration. The video, vetted by gynecologists and an anatomy professor, includes the anatomical facts every woman requires to be fully informed. 98% of the women HERS has referred to board certified gynecologists after being told they needed hysterectomies discovered that, in fact, they did not need the surgery. With this video, women come to understand the information needed to put the brakes on the doctor's rush toward surgery, or to understand why they feel the way they do after the surgery.

The "Female Anatomy" video is an essential, low-cost, highly successful educational model that provides the information women need to make an informed decision about hysterectomy and castration. It is available for free on the HERS website and has been viewed by more than a million women and men.

It also represents the turning point in THE H WORD, where education meets political action. And as Lee Rothberg said in her review, "THE H WORD is the beginning of the end...the silence is over!"

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25 Comments:

At July 9, 2009 at 8:59 AM , Anonymous Mattie said...

The news release posted below is of serious ethical concern, and if women do not consent to the use of their female body parts being used in this way, there are legal implications as well. Are tissues, fallopian tubes, uterus' and ovaries taken from women during hysterectomy/oophorectomy by medical for monetary gain within the medical industry?

NEWS RELEASE:
"THURSDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Fallopian tubes removed from fertile women of child-bearing age during hysterectomies or other procedures might prove to be a new source of highly sought-after stem cells.

Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil found that human fallopian tubes are rich in mesenchymal stem cells. The team isolated and grew these cells in a laboratory and differentiated them into muscle, fat, cartilage and bone cell lines without producing problems in the cell chromosomes, according to a report in the Journal of Translational Medicine.

"In addition to providing an additional potential source for regenerative medicine, these findings might contribute to reproductive science as a whole," study leader Tatiana Jazedje, of the university's Human Genome Research Center, said in a news release from the journal's publisher.

Past studies have also shown success with isolating and differentiating mesenchymal stem cells harvested from umbilical cords, dental pulp and body fat.

Together, these findings are of great interest, the researchers said. "Moreover, the use of human tissue fragments that are usually discarded in surgical procedures does not pose ethical problems," Jazedje said.
-- Kevin McKeever
SOURCE: BioMed Central, news release, June 18, 2009"

 
At July 9, 2009 at 8:47 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

This is sickening!
I always wondered what they did with all those female organs.

 
At July 14, 2009 at 5:50 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

Someone posted under the Name that Doctor and Hospital blog about Dr. Dean Edell's response to a caller on his radio program. She was detailing her health problems post-hysterectomy and he stated that her problems could not be the result of her hysterectomy.

We should all email him about how hysterectomy and/or castration has changed us physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually and how it's affected our relationships and every aspect of our lives. Here's his email address - drdean@healthcentral.com.

Let's inundate him with emails!

 
At July 18, 2009 at 10:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a very important question. Although I know how cruel 90% of the OBGYNs are could it be possible that they are using the uteruses of innocent women for some other women by transplantation so that they get children??? Or maybe all the unneccessary histerectomies are done to use the uteruses for learning how to transplant them?? Could this be something that the state is aware of and because they need the uteruses for the tranplantation trials nobody does anything against it?? One thing is clear all women have to stop this cruelty. There must be a way to do this in the whole world.

 
At July 18, 2009 at 11:19 AM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

I wrote to Dr. Dean Edell "challenging" him to educate himself and stop being an enabler in the fraudulent hysterectomy industry. I included several links to the HERS Foundation - home, DVD, adverse effects.

Someone should call into his program with this same "challenge."

 
At July 18, 2009 at 11:43 AM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

Forget the email to Dr. Dean Edell. I got a failure notice - Remote host said: 553 mailbox drdean@healthcentral.com is restricted (Mode: normal). Figures!

 
At July 18, 2009 at 4:55 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Just when you think you've read the most horrific things they could possibly do to women...there's another. And another.

In todays "The Times of India" in Allahabad:

Day-care hysterectomy camp
TNN 18 July 2009, 10:27pm IST
Print Email Discuss Bookmark/Share Save Comment Text Size: |
ALLAHABAD: A two-day day-care hysterectomy camp is being organised at Jeevan Jyoti Hospital on July 30 and 31. Gynaecological endoscopic surgeon

Rajesh Modi and Vandana Bansal would perform the operations.

The patients would be operated for uterine fibroids, cysts, ovarian cyst, tumor etc.

The patients should get themselves registered as early as possible so that proper investigation could be done.

In this non-invasive method of surgery, a small puncture is made in the abdomen of the patient through endoscopy and special hand instrument. The surgery is performed through a tiny hole. The surgeon performs this surgery, looking at the TV screen on which the internal parts of abdomen are displayed. This is called endoscopy-laparoscopy surgery.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Allahabad-Day-care-hysterectomy-camp/articleshow/4793420.cms

These poor women have no idea that their bodies and their lives will be forever ruined. When you run your cursor over the link to hysterectomy (don't click) an add pops up with a happy, smiling, mother and daughter. It says "Life doesn't wait for mommy to recover." It's an advertisement for Da Vinci robotic hysterectomy. There is a good chance this "hysterectomy camp" is where unsuspecting women will be the experimental animals for gynecologists to use to learn how to perform a robotic hysterectomy.

If it were possible to go there to protest I would, but there's no way that it could be arranged with so little time. Please let HERS know on our blog if anyone has any ideas about how to warn women in Allahabad. There is a blog on the newspapers website (click on the link above). We could flood the blog with comments with the hope that we can get the word out.

 
At July 19, 2009 at 6:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. John Hamilton of Oklahoma, ob/gyn, was convicted of murdering his wife on Valentine's Day in 2001. His wife found out he was having an affair and she threatened to divorce him. He came home in between surgeries and killed her. He strangled her and beat her head in. It took the jury less than two hours to convict Hamilton of first-degree murder, and he was later sentenced to life in prison.

 
At July 24, 2009 at 9:39 PM , Anonymous lily said...

Hi


I am the one who was asking if they use the unnecessarily taken uteruses and ovaries for transplantation but nobody answered me. Don´t you think that this could be one of the reasons? I found lots of websites explaining things like that:

http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/abstract.do?topicKey=~HYUHE7s9ipys6M&refNum=78


Look at this please and tell me what you think about my suspicion.

 
At July 25, 2009 at 12:08 AM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Lilly,

I don't doubt that many of the female organs surgically removed are used in research. There are several medical journal articles that describe using the uteri and ovaries removed during hysterectomy and castration for research. It is usually paid for in large part or entirely by a device manufacturer, such as the device used in performing endometrial ablation. The women whose organs are used usually are not told their organs will be used for research.

Outrageous? Yes. Abusive? Yes. Illegal? No.

 
At July 26, 2009 at 12:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attempted Aggravated Murder (4 counts), Attempted Felonious Assault (4 counts), Contaminating a Substance for Human Consumption, Illegal Possession of Drug Documents (3 counts), and Deception to Obtain Dangerous Drugs (3 counts)

Dr. Maynard Muntzing and his wife Tammy were indicted on four counts of attempted aggravated murder by a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court grand jury on August 30, 2000.

Tammy Muntzing filled her husband's prescription for the abortifacient Cytotec, which Muntzing slipped into his pregnant girlfriend's drink four times in attempts to cause her to miscarry.

"She was apparently the one who went in and picked up the medication from the pharmacy," said Jim Knight, an assistant county prosecutor.

Dr. Muntzing faced four counts each of attempted aggravated murder, attempted felonious assault, and contaminating a substance for human consumption. He was indicted on two counts each of illegal possession of drug documents and deception to obtain dangerous drugs. If convicted of all the counts, he could be sentenced to 104 years in prison. Mrs. Muntzing was indicted on one count each of illegal possession of drug documents and deception to obtain dangerous drugs.

Dr. Muntzing, who was being held in the Montgomery County jail in lieu of a $1 million bond, was charged with trying to kill the unborn child of Michelle Baker, 33, of Huber Heights, a Dayton suburb. He was arrested August 14 at Baker's home shortly after Huber Heights police, watching through a video camera, said they saw him pour a contraction-causing drug into her soft drink.

Baker, who miscarried her child, told police she became suspicious when she felt ill several times after visiting Muntzing. Police said Baker and Muntzing began dating in April and became engaged in May. At the same time, Muntzing was seeing another woman, whom he married in July. Baker told police she refused Muntzing's request to get an abortion.

St. Rita's Medical Center in Lima revoked Dr. Muntzing's temporary staff privileges two days after his arrest.

On September 30, 2001, Maynard Muntzing pleaded guilty to reduced charges (attempted felonious assault and contaminating a substance for human consumption) in a deal that sent him to prison for five years.

Tammy Muntzing received probation for her crimes. Judge Barbara P. Gorman of Montgomery County Common Pleas Court ordered her to perform 100 hours of community service and to cooperate with the Adult Probation Department. Its report probably will lead to loss of her nursing license.

A Montgomery County coroner's examination failed to tie Baker's October 28 miscarriage to the Cytotec.

 
At July 26, 2009 at 1:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This web site is very hard to understand. If you have been trying to get the word out for so long you should have a more user friendly web page. If I did not know where to go from the advice of a friend I would have left the page ASAP. Also, you say you have been trying for so long, why haven't millions of us heard. Your web page sucks.

 
At July 26, 2009 at 2:18 PM , Anonymous Nora W. Coffey, HERS Foundation said...

Anonymous,

Are you talking about the blog or HERS website?

Any constructive criticism and suggestions you have are welcome.

 
At August 1, 2009 at 10:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, we need to "put on the brakes" as post-graduate medical students are being trained daily by assisting with hysterectomy surgeries.

St. Louis, Missouri's St. John's Mercy Medical Center states the following on its Graduate Medical Education website:

"The large number of surgeries provides rapid advancement in the acquisition of surgical techniques. Abdominal and vaginal hysterectomies are the bread and butter of the gynecological inpatient rotation..."

It also states:
"Approximately 1,600 major cases and 1,000 minor cases occur in the five Gyn-dedicated Operating Rooms. Residents evaluate the patients in the preoperative area and participate fully in the surgical procedures under the guidance of the attending staff and faculty."

Here are stats from the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO) Residency Directory:

Co-workers: 5,821
Physicians: 1,177
Licensed Beds: 979

Patients: Obstetrics (Indicate the approximate annual figures for each procedure listed below by hospital.)

Deliveries, total 7,114
Cesarean deliveries 2,388

Patients: Gynecology (Indicate the approximate annual figures for each procedure listed below by hospital.)

Major surg for invasive neoplasia 297
Abdominal hysterectomies 548
Vaginal hysterectomies 452
Urinary incontinence procedures 352
Operative laparoscopic procedures 474

Approximate typical resident experience (total for 4 years)

OB EXPERIENCE by Surgeon(S) & Assistant(A)
Spontaneous deliveries S=308 A=53
Cesarean deliveries S=210 A=19

GYN EXPERIENCE by Surgeon(S) & Assistant(A)
Abdominal hysterectomy S=102 A=7
Vaginal hysterectomy S=163 A=17
Surgery for urinary incontinence S=34 A=5
Vaginal probe USG S=200

Chair: Octavio Chirino, M.D. (Permanent)
Phone: 314-251-6881 FAX: 314-251-4376
Program Director Dionysios K. Veronikis, MD (Permanent)
Phone: 314-251-6826 FAX: 514-251-6918
Residency Contact Person (if other than program director): Kay Edwards
Phone: 314-251-6826 Email edwakr@stlo.smhs.com

Ironic that this Catholic hospital sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy even allows these surgeries for benign conditions since the Roman Catholic church has always considered castration to be mutilation of the body and therefore a severe sin.

Their actions are in conflict with their mission statement
"Rooted in Jesus’ healing mission, and faithful to the Sisters of Mercy ministry tradition marked by justice, service, excellence, stewardship and respect for the dignity of each person...."

How is castration acting out of respect and dignity??

 
At August 3, 2009 at 1:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wholly agree with this topic, I attempted to put on the brakes, by simply not signing a Hysterectomy Consent Form. Additionally, by presenting with asymptomatic fibroids, wishing to retain fertility (had not given birth), signing a Myomectomy Consent Form, stating clear enough of my intentions to not have a hysterectomy so that doctor did not prepare a hysterectomy consent form.

But all of that was not enough and a hysterectomy was summarily done.

To the poster who wondered why millions of women have not heard - I would say millions have. There are at least 22 million who have already had the procedure who are now aware of the devastating consequences. HERS has been in existence for at least 28 years and have counseled many women along with holding a yearly conference so that women can hear and be heard. During the year-long protest in 51 cities many women got to hear.

But along with all of HERS efforts, each woman goes individually to one or more doctors to hear a very different explanation of their options and the risks and consequences of hysterectomy.

The medical industry has decided to take a very obvious situation - removal of female reproductive/sex organs for benign conditions and claim that no harm is done. In fact one will be even better than before. The importance of female organs are diminished, the consequences of removal are dismissed, and the continued deception of massive numbers of women continue.

With each year, bringing on a new generation to be misinformed.

TQ

 
At August 8, 2009 at 7:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few doctors in the US tried to bully or frighten me into getting a hysterectomy, but even though I had terrifying hemorrhaging and severe anemia from fibroids, something kept telling me not to get a hysterectomy.

I found out that in the UK there are medications that stop bleeding (that they don't use in the US), and that myomectomies are frequently performed, and hysterectomies far less frequently.

I had a myomectomy 2 years ago, the surgery was very easy apparently, and so far I haven't had any problems. I have been on HRT since then as well.

 
At August 24, 2009 at 11:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To: "I had a myomectomy 2 years ago, the surgery was very easy apparently, and so far I haven't had any problems. I have been on HRT since then as well."
Consider yourself "lucky" the Gynecologist didn't exercise his/her "constitutional right" to steal all of your sex organs. Because the gynecologist could have hysterecomized/castrated you "legally" because of the "loop-hole" in the "myomectomy consent form."...Whew!

 
At September 7, 2009 at 5:28 AM , Anonymous Jimmy said...

Hysterectomy is known to disturb nerve plexuses and anatomical relations in the pelvic region. The reason for opting for cervix removal is the presence of cancer in the left over cervical base. And the reason for retaining the cervix is better bowel and bladder function. So one should take a proper decision.

 
At September 7, 2009 at 8:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As you read this year’s report, you’ll read the stories of the men and women who dedicate themselves to help the victims of crime and other devastating events. You’ll get an inside look at a number of cases, join us in our partnerships, view some of our new technology, discover how we keep the Laboratory running smoothly, learn about our education efforts, and help celebrate our accomplishments, both in the Laboratory and in the community. Indeed, the FBI Laboratory stands as a partner with law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the forensic community, and also with our neighboring community, the people who live and work just outside the borders of our home here in Quantico, Virginia.

Television makes crime scene investigation look glamorous, where cases are often solved in less than an hour. But in reality, the exploitation of forensic evidence requires excellent education and training, a steadfast dedication to quality, and persistence, sometimes leading to years of hard work. The FBI Laboratory is committed to these values so that we can best serve the law enforcement, intelligence, and forensic communities."

Dwight E. Adams, Ph.D.
Director
FBI Laboratory
Quantico, Virginia

 
At September 7, 2009 at 8:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If all doctors' consultations for castration and hysterectomy were videotaped, 90% of gynecologists would be in prision."

 
At September 7, 2009 at 10:02 AM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

The nerves that attach to the uterus must be severed to remove the uterus during hysterectomy. This results in more far reaching damage than merely disturbing the pelvic region. When the nerves are severed physical sensation is completely lost or significantly diminished in the vagina, clitoris, labia, legs and feet.

It is not the cervix that supports the bladder and bowel; it is the body of the uterus. The cervix is the opening to the uterus, and is attached to the lower end of the body of the uterus, much in the way that your head is continuous with your neck, which is continuous with your shoulders. When a subtotal (sometimes called partial) hysterectomy is done the cervix is amputated from the uterus, leaving the stump. The major nerves and blood supply are cut when the cervix from the uterus.

 
At September 7, 2009 at 7:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I caught the last part of Dateline on Friday, 9/4. The feature was about a rape victim and how she was victimized all over again by law enforcement and others in the community. She decided to overcome the feelings of shame and tell her story. She started a website http://janedoenomore.com/ to improve the way society responds to sexual assault victims thereby shortening the time from crime to healing.

In many ways, hysterectomy feels like the ultimate rape (just as the book of the same name indicates). But, as of now, it's perfectly legal yet we are left with the shame of having "let it happen" despite the perpetrators being medical professionals. However, sadly for us, there's no recovery as our bodies have been permanently damaged. All we can do is fight to stop this atrocity.

I plan to start a thread on the message board on Jane Doe No More about the similarities and differences between rape and hysterectomy. This is another opportunity to expose the truth about hysterectomy. Simply put, hysterectomy's about fraud and injustice. And fraud in any other industry is illegal.

 
At September 7, 2009 at 10:19 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Thanks for the Jane Doe story. She's made a good recovery, and is doing a wonderful thing helping other victims of rape. It's wonderful that's she's come forward and identified herself, and no longer needs to feel like a nameless victim.

I think most women can identify with some of Jane Doe's experience, particularly being abused by the police after the rape, which is similar to the abuse by the operating doctor and other physicians reported by hysterectomized women.

Like you said in your comment, there are similarities, and there are differences. Rape is a terrible, violent attack that is recognized as a crime, whether the attacker is repeat offender, an average Joe, a priest, or a doctor. The survivors are left with permanent scars. But hysterectomized and castrated women have had their female organs removed, causing permanent damage to their physical health, physical sexual sensation, maternal feeling, and lust for life. Many of us also live with severe joint, muscle and back pain that is unrelenting.

Typically there is outrage at the rapist and sympathy for the victim, although a few blame the victim. But it goes against the grain to blame trusted doctors, those people we have been taught to respect and depend on for our health and well being. And even if the doctor is deemed by a court of law to be guilty of negligence or battery in doing a hysterectomy, it's a civil offense, not criminal. The punishment, if any, is financial and paid by their medical malpractice insurance.

There's also the issue of denial. It's understandably difficult for many people to understand how damaging hysterectomy is when there are some women, for fear of having others know they've lost sexual feeling and are struggling in every way, who say "I'm fine, it's the best thing I ever did, I wish I had done it years ago, and sex is better than ever.

You're not like to hear a rape victim say "im fine, it's the best thing I ever did, and I wish I had it done to me years before". Nor would she be encouraging other women to seek or submit to rape.

Anonymous, please share your Jane Doe posts with us on HERS blog. HERS supports her efforts. The comments on her blog are a mixture of heart breaking and empowerment. Many women identify with her experience, she's given them a voice.

 
At September 8, 2009 at 7:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to comment on the irony of "Many of us also live with severe joint, muscle and back pain that is unrelenting."

I was rushed into surgery and castrated after only ONE day of unrelenting pain! I didn't know the true meaning of unrelenting! Of course, I wish every day that I had never called to schedule that appointment.

 
At September 29, 2009 at 1:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had an encounter with a woman who in her early 20's had experienced a severe prolapse after the birth of her first baby. The doctor wanted to do a hysterectomy, but she adamantly refused thinking it was too drastic especially in light of her age. The physician then did a procedure called a "gillian" or "Gilliam" procedure. 10 years later she was able to conceive. She does not know how lucky she was to have had the gumption to stand up for herself. Even though I had 5 children I succumbed to a hysterectomy on the advice of the nurse practioner who had just had one and the doctor who was also a female. I have written about this before. Why they knew nothing about this procedure or didn't tell me I can't figure out. I regret it every time I feel robbed of experiencing the same sexual intimacy & enjoyment I once felt. Scale of 1- 10, it's now about a 3. Very, very, sad for a woman in her 40's.

 

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