Saturday, August 28, 2010

Healthcare "Good News" is Often Bad News For Women

  • You don't need a doctor, you don't want a doctor, so here's $150 to see one anyway — employers offer cash incentives to participate in wellness programs
  • Was your hysterectomy too slow?   14 year old boy invents a timesaving surgical technique
  • Two tickets for hysterectomy, please!  how to turn a trip to the operating room into an all expenses paid vacation

At first blush, these three news bites seem like good news. Lurking beyond the silver linings, though, are the dark clouds of some very unhealthy trends. Let’s take a look at each one in more detail.

Good News #1: Many news writers claim that corporate wellness programs reduce healthcare costs, increase productivity, and improve morale. As Melissa McNamara reported in a CBS News online story titled Wellness Programs May Trim Health Costs, “the company—and its employees—save by preventing heart attacks and obesity. ‘We believe that prevention is the right way to go,’" said the head of IBM’s human resources department interviewed in the article (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/22/eveningnews/main2386130.shtml).
Many wellness programs also encourage routine checkups and screening. In the same article, McNamara reports that IBM gives its employees $150 for filling out a “health record, which flags employees to their individual risk of disease.”
What the article fails to point out is that while disease treatment accounts for a major portion of the healthcare dollars spent in this country, misdiagnosed diseases and unnecessary medicine also account for a major portion of our healthcare spending. As health reform advocate and writer Ivan Illich put it, “Unnecessary surgery is a standard procedure.”
Looking for problems in healthy people is unhealthy. Routine medical screenings perpetuate the idea that our bodies are ticking time bombs, ready to explode if they are not routinely inspected for any possible abnormality. Routinized poking and prodding of vaginas, cervixes, uteri, and ovaries is unnatural and may cause pain, discomfort, and millions of unnecessary procedures and surgeries each year, causing far more damage than they prevent.
One of the most common scenarios resulting in unnecessary surgery is the routine wellness exam. And perhaps the most routinized of all exams is the Pap smear, which is part of most gynecological checkups.
The Pap smear is often praised because it may detect cervical cancer. But with about 11,000 cases of cervical cancer detected each year in the U.S. (1/10th of 1% of the female population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics), cervical cancer is only slightly more prevalent than the incidence of testicular and penile cancer.
What’s more, pap smears are prone to a high percentage of errors. One report puts the error rate of false-positive results—tests that say women have cancer when they actually don’t—at a whopping 44.8%.
Hormonal contraception and false-positive cervical cytology: is there an association? Hoekstra AV, Kosinski A, Huh WK , J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2006 Apr;10(2):102-6 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16633239).
Gynecological exams performed during a so-called well-woman visit are all too often invitations to unnecessary treatment. Nearly all hysterectomies are performed for benign conditions—fibroids, ovarian cysts, “abnormal” cells, or an age bias. And hysterectomy rates vary wildly across the country—highest in the South, lowest in the Northeast.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that in the last decade on average 621,000 hysterectomies were performed each year, making it the most common non-obstetric surgery performed in the U.S. According to the Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services (HERS) Foundation, about 98% of those surgeries could be avoided with more conservative treatment—or by not undergoing routine gynecological exams in the first place.
Incentivizing exercise and healthy eating may be money well spent. But as was reported in the National Association of Health Underwriters magazine (http://hersfoundation.org/press_news.htm), eliminating medically unwarranted hysterectomies could save our medical system more than $17B each year.
Good News #2: On June 16, 2009 the Indianapolis Recorder published Jackie Jones’ article “Black Youth Invents Surgical Technique–at 14.” In the article Jones claims that a Florida boy’s surgical technique can be completed “in a third of the time of traditional surgery” (http://www.indianapolisrecorder.com/articles/2009/06/18/news/national/doc4a382654df4fd264703245.txt).
This story is intriguing on many levels. First, there is the surgery in question—hysterectomy. Then there’s the question of why, with thousands of surgeons performing millions of hysterectomies, it took an inexperienced boy to figure out what all those trained surgeons did not. And then there’s the question of who exactly benefits from faster hysterectomies?
Hysterectomy is widely considered the most over-utilized non-obstetric surgery performed in the U.S., second only to C-sections. A hysterectomy is performed every minute of every hour of every day. According to the NIH, one out of every three women in America has been hysterectomized by age 60. Considering these staggering statistics, faster surgeries may be good news for the doctors, hospitals, device manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies who profit from them, but speeding up the hysterectomy assembly line is bad news for the women who undergo the surgery.
“High school internships and other programs,” Jones reported in the same Indianapolis Recorder article, “are being used by educators to boost the number of young people interested in medicine in the face of projections that there will be a doctor deficit of as many as 200,000 physicians by 2020.” But with vast numbers of unnecessary knee, back, heart, and female pelvic surgeries, is the prospect of fewer surgeons bad news or good news?
And what was the boy who invented this surgical technique taught about the consequences of the surgery he sought to “improve?” One wonders if he would have been inspired to do so if he understood the irreversible damage caused by amputating the uterus.
No matter how good the surgeon’s skill or technique, and no matter what type of hysterectomy is performed, the result is the same: the important lifelong functions of a hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ are permanently gone.
For more information about the consequences of hysterectomy, watch the HERS Foundation’s video “Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs” at http://www.hersfoundation.com/anatomy/index.html.
Good News #3: Surgeries performed abroad cost less than surgeries performed in the U.S. So much so that employers who are eager to keep down healthcare costs have begun providing incentives to employees who are willing to leave the country for surgery.
Entering an operating room is a frightening experience in any country. But as Parija Kavilanz reported in an CNNMoney.com article titled “Surgery and sightseeing on your boss' dime,” surgery for Tina Follett was transformed into a luxurious vacation (http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/11/news/companies/health_care_medical_travel/).
To entice them to seek a cheaper surgery in Panama than what was available in California, Patrick’s employer offered the couple free airfare for two, full medical coverage, free hotel, a complimentary concierge, car service, an interpreter, sightseeing, and a two-week $120 per day allowance. In Tina’s words, “It's been a phenomenal experience, almost like a hotel, and it has cost us absolutely nothing
most consistent problems women experience after hysterectomy—no matter how seductive a free exotic vacation may be—include a loss of sexual feeling, a loss of vitality, a 25-pound weight gain in the first year following the surgery, joint pain, profound fatigue, and personality change.
And contrary to the CBS News article mentioned in Good News #1, preventative checkups that lead to unnecessary hysterectomies will result in a significant increase in heart disease and obesity. Hysterectomized women have a three-times greater incidence of myocardial infarction (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7457522). When the ovaries are removed, women have a seven-times greater incidence of heart disease.
In the CNNMoney.com article, Kavilanz was not reporting on the dark cloud of tens of millions of American women coping with the aftermath of hysterectomy. The article was concerned with the silver lining—a California couple enjoying an all expenses paid vacation to Panama in exchange for saving the company a few bucks on the amputation of Tina’s uterus. Hopefully I’m not the only person reading this article who asked, so what exactly are the female organs worth?
These three articles demonstrate an inherent bias in news reporting in favor of positive findings that artificially support the value of medicine. Likewise, there’s an inherent bias against publishing stories that report negative findings that are unprofitable to the medical industry.
The devil is in the details. It would be wonderful if all reporters were encouraged and compensated to provide thorough investigations of the stories they are assigned to. When that is not the case, we are left to dig deeper ourselves, otherwise we may learn the hard way that good healthcare news is often bad news for women.
Improving employee health and workplace morale is a good thing. But most women who contact the HERS Foundation would trade a lifetime of vacations to get their uterus back again.

Labels:

34 Comments:

At August 28, 2010 at 7:20 PM , Anonymous Gracie said...

Not a truer statement said, "Looking for problems in healthy people is unhealthy." Please read the HERS Foundation comment about 'Healthcare "Good News" is often Bad News For Women.

If you go to a gynecologist enough times, on one of those visits you will be told you have abnormal cysts, fibroids or polyps and that you will need a hysterectomy along with castration. You never need a hysterectomy for fibroids, polyps or cysts unless you have the wrong doctor. There are alternative surgeries, but most doctors would rather just 'clean house' and not tell you about the alternative surgeries because they are not skilled enough to perform them.

Stay out of a gynecologist office. It is an invite for an unnecessary surgery. See your family doctor whose job is not giving hysterectomies. Please believe that your gynecologist does not have your best interest at heart. A hysterectomy should only be given if you have CONFIRMED CANCER.

I would give up everything to have my ovaries back and lead a normal life. Once your ovaries, uterus and cervix are removed, your life will never be the same as before the surgery. You will have one health problem after the other. You will most likely loose your marriage and career because you will not be able to keep up the pace as before.

Watch the dvd 'female anatomy' before even considering this surgery. Any doctor who has given this surgery for removing healthy sexual organs should be prosecuted and have his license taken away from him/her. They make the money and we are left to survive a life-time of health problems besides losing our marriage and careers.

I am a victim and I don't want you to become one! Call the HERS Foundation and seek out the real experts-we who have had this barbaric surgery!

 
At August 28, 2010 at 10:20 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

There was an excellent documentary done about unnecessary Cesarean births and how ob/gyn's exploit pregnant women for profit just like they do by performing unnecessary hysterectomies. They trick, scare and lie to women to get them in the hospital. This was done by Ricki Lake and you can see the trailer at: http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com

It's not surprising that it's the same doctors who are making billions performing unnecessary hysterectomies, that are also making billions performing unnecessary Cesareans. Ob/gyn's have taken over the market harming women and their babies. The U.S. has the highest Cesarean and Hysterectomy rate, and also the highest birth death rate. If these doctors didn't harm women and their babies, they wouldn't make any money. Every woman needs to stay far away from these doctors. They should all be put in prison for what they are doing.

 
At August 29, 2010 at 11:28 AM , Anonymous suzie h said...

have been going to doctors for over 10 yrs and each time have no problem with them taking my money. It narrows down to No real answers; most doctors covering for each other saying I need a complete hysterectomy. At the same time, telling me I'm very healthy. Your intuition doesn't lie and you know yourself better than anyone else, too. I've been looking for answers for a long time. Now I have come to this point as to why I'm commenting here. I'm very scared and have no other alternative cause I ended up in the emergency room recently after not being able to pee. 1st time in ER for this. So following this incident, I ended up at an Urology office. He actually thought fiboid cysts was causing my problems-blockage,'WRONG". I finally go to a gychologists; after waiting 3 1/2 hours here cause he was running late. During this visit, during an oral vaginal and rectal exam he tells me, the skin that separates the two is gone after child bearing years and my uterus was like an upside down pear sitting in a cup. The tissue is hanging down between my vagina. That's where the pressure is coming from. What was thought to be a cysts is the actual scar tissue - original tissue that was toren away from my births. Why now and couldn't doctors of told me this 10 yrs ago? Why wasn't this stitched up each time? I had the best of doctors and insurance and they never bothered sewing me back. This was the whole idea of being at a hospital and not having the problems of delivering at home. I have been battling this for years and never getting any answers. The doctor now says he can't fix it without doing a complete hysterectomy. I'm terrified plus I have blood pressure problems in which I think nerves being the culpuit. I'm desperate. I'm a very healthy and tiny person. The idea of weigh gain and taking out my body parts doesn't set easy with me. Is there any normal doctors in the practice for all the right reasons? Do you have any suggestions.

 
At August 29, 2010 at 12:53 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

In any other industry, the tactics used by gynecologists to get women into the Operating Room would be considered fraud and prosecuted accordingly! The insurance companies "aid and abet" this fraud and the states' medical boards turn a blind eye.

How is it that the Missouri Board of "Healing Arts" could rule that my surgeon did nothing wrong after he hysterectomized and castrated me for a BENIGN ovarian cyst especially since his oncologist recommended that he only remove the one ovary? Of course, I got no explanation from Missouri's medical board.

As we all know, doctors protect and enable other doctors! And hospital Graduate Medical Education programs are also suspect. Their gynecological rotations generally have heavy emphasis on hysterectomies since hysterectomies are the gyn specialty's GOLD MINE.

I only wish I had quit seeing my ob/gyn after I had my last child or recognized his foray into lipodissolve and medical spa services as cause for concern. I don't think my mother step foot in a gyn's office after having her last child. She doesn't normally do mammograms either. In her case, though, it's not because she doesn't trust doctors; she just doesn't feel the need for all this poking and prodding. Oh how I wish she had taught me to feel the same way! It's still a struggle to get her to believe the fraud of hysterectomy and understand the horror of it as experienced by those of us who have been victimized. Those who are intact cannot FULLY understand but we must do our best to change that.

I don't do mammograms any more. Of course my PCP always gives me an order for one and I decline. At least the media has reported on the issue of unnecessary breast biopsies and overdiagnosis of breast cancer. So where are the media reports on all these unnecessary, damaging hysterectomies?

Where's the outrage??

 
At August 29, 2010 at 1:18 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

suzie h,

I don't have much to offer EXCEPT that your gynecologist sounds like the typical greedy gynecologist who prefers removing sex organs instead of fixing the source of the problem. From what you stated, it sounds like you have a tilted uterus which is actually quite common especially after childbearing and needs NO intervention/treatment. It's not clear if you have a prolapsed uterus but even if you do, that does NOT require a hysterectomy. There are other treatments for it. The only justification for hysterectomy is CONFIRMED CANCER!!

I recommend you contact HERS who may be able to recommend a doctor who respects women by providing treatments that preserve their organs. Since organ-robbing gynecologists seem to be more the norm than the exception, you may have to travel to get the treatment you need. I would have traveled far and wide if I'd known the horror of hysterectomy and the fraudulent tactics used by gyns.

Good luck and please post back and let us know what you find out!

 
At September 1, 2010 at 7:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What employers also fail to tell employees about their wellness programs is that these "screenings" and any "abnormal" or "unhealthy" findings goes on the employees medical record which their health insurance company has access to. Eventually (and already in some places) your insurance rates will go up if you are less than perfectly healthy. These wellness programs serve as a way to get private information about an individual and use it against them. Buyer beware!

 
At September 3, 2010 at 8:43 AM , Anonymous Elizabeth said...

American women must stop having these annual gyn exams, they are a large part of the problem.
You lead such medical lives with constant surveillance of your reproductive organs from an early age. It causes harmful over-treatment.
The evidence of benefit from routine bimanual exams is not there, they are of low to poor clinical value in asymptomatic women and expose you to risk. (from unnecessary procedures and even surgery)
It is not a recommended exam in the UK or Australia at any age. I'm 52 and have never had a routine bimanual exam.
Breast exams - there is no evidence they help, they don't bring down the death rate from cancer, but cause biopsies and some believe they are a risk factor for cancer.

Pap smears - you are pap-smeared to death....the excessive and inappropriate testing is reckless and harmful.
Testing virgins, teenagers, young women, elderly women, women who've had complete hysterectomies for benign conditions...and the over-screening of all women.
This is a rare cancer and testing carries risk, this test must be used sparingly and responsibly.

Finland has the lowest rates of cc in the world and sends the fewest women for biopsies after false positives - they test 5 to 7 times starting from 30 and then 5 yearly to 50, 55 or 60. Many American women in their 60's have had more than 40 pap smears - crazy! (testing under 25 is unsafe, unreliable and does not affect the tiny death rate from cancer)
Over-screening leads straight to day procedure and damage caused by these unnecessary treatments can leave you with problems - infertility, miscarriages, more c-sections, premature babies and psych issues etc.

Also you must free up birth control - doctors refuse to supply the Pill UNTIL women submit to optional testing and unnecessary exams - this amounts to coercion.
Doctors could not justify their conduct in a court of law.
Hysterectomies are more of the same, excess!
All for profit and in the practise of defensive "medicine".
See:Dr Joel Sherman's medical privacy blog under women's privacy issues.
Blogcritics and Unnecessary pap smears and the Violet to Blue site.
Good luck to all of you....

 
At September 3, 2010 at 3:06 PM , Anonymous Kolynna said...

I wish more women would utilize what HERS has to offer. Had I known of this site before my butchering I wouldn't be in the shape I am now.
2 years. In 2 years time I have lost 3 inches from my height, I have a permanently dislocated hip, tilted pelvis and dislocated shoulder (from the hip &pelvis) all of this caused by hysterectomy/castration.
Offering a hysterectomy as a vacation package? There are some really sick and twisted people out there.

 
At September 4, 2010 at 2:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kolynna,
I am so sorry to hear what happened to you. I wish it had not happened to you.

Elizabeth,
Thank you for all the stats and for confirming what I had recently decided that I would not get anymore pap smears.

 
At September 4, 2010 at 3:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there any statistics on suicide or attempted suicide resulting from hysterectomy and/or castration?

There are many days that the emotional pain and loneliness and the loss of my former self and my former life are too much to bear. I know suicide isn't the answer and with my luck, it would probably fail anyway. Plus I need to be here to fight to end this horrific destruction of women and families.

 
At September 5, 2010 at 11:32 PM , Anonymous Jane said...

I also wondered why "it took an inexperienced boy to figure out what all those trained surgeons did not." Well I didn't really wonder, because clearly they are just trained to mutilate women, and they enjoy harming them so why would they want to make any improvements?

 
At September 10, 2010 at 8:26 AM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

NOTE: Please do not comment anonymously. Use either your real name or an alias so that people can follow your comments. If you post anonymously we will assign an alias to your comment.

Thank you for your cooperation!

 
At September 10, 2010 at 8:28 AM , Anonymous Jen said...

Wow! Thanks to all of your who share your story so others may benefit by them and avoid the pain you are going through. You are real heros. I'm glad I didn't go the hysterectomy route recommended by 3 different OB/GYNs for my condition, a benign fibroid and heavy menstrual bleeding causing anemia. I am seeing an excellent certified nutritionist who outlined a nutritional plan for me that cuts out mostly sugar, dairy products, and caffein from my diet, and added lots of efficient protiens, vegetables, legumes, nuts/seeds and water to my diet. After being on the diet only two months, my periods are almost normal. After some time, we anticipate that the fibroid will also dissolve if I continue eating right. Although it's not quite the "quick fix" that a hysterectomy would give me, giving up a few food pleasures for 18-24 months is well worth living my next 44 years normal and healthy.

 
At September 10, 2010 at 1:25 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

Jen,

I'm so happy to hear that you were saved from the horror of hysterectomy!

I ask that you make it a point to spread the word about the overuse of hysterectomy and its aftermath from the women's stories you've read.

I wish you continued success with dietary changes. Women need to know that diet can play a big role in gyn issues.

Please spread the word about HERS.

 
At September 10, 2010 at 6:04 PM , Anonymous Sh-t Disturber said...

I attended a program on "A Candid Discussion about Women's Gynecological Health Issues" sponsored by Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis. There were three doctors that presented, an ob/gyn, Timothy Philpott, M.D., a urologist and an interventional radiologist.

The first presentation was done by ob/gyn Timothy Philpott, M.D. He covered some treatments for gynecological problems including fibroids, excessive bleeding, prolapse, endometriosis. Hysterectomy and myomectomy were included along with some non-surgical treatments. He failed to include the many adverse effects of hysterectomy. Of course, this wasn't what one would call a "candid" discussion but no one should be surprised by that!

As one would suspect, the urologist covered treatments for bladder prolapse and incontinence including his partnership with Dr. Philpott to suspend the bladder during gyn surgical procedures, hysterectomy included. As we all know, the bladder will fall after the uterus is removed. With the outrageous number of hysterectomies, I'm sure the urologist is doing quite well financially!

The UFE presentation was last. It included some hyst consequences - sexual dysfunction, bladder prolapse, physical and emotional effects - probably intended more as a marketing ploy for UFE than educational. A 1 in 300 chance of embolism from UFE was mentioned.

The following well documented consequences of hysterectomy were not covered during this "candid" discussion:
- If a woman experienced uterine orgasms, she will no longer experience them after hysterectomy
- Physique changes - The severed ligaments will cause the spine to compress resulting in a protruding abdomen / thickening waist leading to back, hip and leg problems. (Interestingly but not surprisingly, back problems were mentioned as a symptom of uterine prolapse yet there was no mention of this common consequence post-hysterectomy.)
- In 35-40% of hysterectomies, the ovaries fail prematurely due to the loss of blood supply.
- Removal of the uterus increases risk of heart disease 3 times that of an intact woman. This risk is 7 times when the ovaries are removed.

And, as if this isn't shocking enough (although it really isn't shocking to those of us who know the truth about the tactics used by those in the hyst industry), Dr. Philpott also stated that if a woman is post-menopausal, he recommends ovary removal to eliminate the 1 in 70 chance of ovarian cancer. (Testicular cancer rates are similar yet they don't prophylactically remove testicles! Ovary / testicle removal is CASTRATION.)

During Q&A, after going through "all" the index cards of attendees' questions, I asked why they didn't address mine. The facilitator denied getting my card even though I saw the other woman hand it to her at the podium. Of course, there was no answer so I started to speak saying that they hadn't addressed the adverse effects of uterus removal on heart, bones, physique, sexual function. I stated that the ovaries function throughout life and that they're the equivalent of a man's testicles - would they have their testicles removed? I don't think so! Of course all three doctors just sat there probably flabbergasted! I said that ALL women deserve to know the facts before signing a consent form and suggested they go to www.hersfoundation.com to get these facts. At the time I didn't know about http://www.uterinearteryembolization.com/ or I would have mentioned it too.

 
At September 10, 2010 at 6:53 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

Jen, thanks for posting your success story! It shows how misguided and dangerous our current healthcare system is when three doctors recommend the amputation of your female sex organs when diet changes are much more appropriate and beneficial. It also shows that while these doctors state publicly that they offer women alternatives, that in fact they don't, i.e.,not one out of the three offered you a myomectomy to remove the fibroid. Your story is consistent with the deception that women face on a daily basis from gynecologists. Thanks for sharing it here, it will help others learn the truth about gynecologists so that they can protect themselves.

 
At September 10, 2010 at 7:43 PM , Anonymous Sh-t Disturber said...

I attended a program on "A Candid Discussion about Women's Gynecological Health Issues" sponsored by Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis. There were three doctors that presented, an ob/gyn, Timothy Philpott, M.D., a urologist and an interventional radiologist.

The first presentation was done by ob/gyn Timothy Philpott, M.D. He covered some treatments for gynecological problems including fibroids, excessive bleeding, prolapse, endometriosis. Hysterectomy and myomectomy were included along with some non-surgical treatments. He failed to include the many adverse effects of hysterectomy. Of course, this wasn't what one would call a "candid" discussion but no one should be surprised by that!

As one would suspect, the urologist covered treatments for bladder prolapse and incontinence including his partnership with Dr. Philpott to suspend the bladder during gyn surgical procedures, hysterectomy included. As we all know, the bladder will fall after the uterus is removed. With the outrageous number of hysterectomies, I'm sure the urologist is doing quite well financially!

The UFE presentation was last. It included some hyst consequences - sexual dysfunction, bladder prolapse, physical and emotional effects - probably intended more as a marketing ploy for UFE than educational. A 1 in 300 chance of embolism from UFE was mentioned.

The following well documented consequences of hysterectomy were not covered during this "candid" discussion:
- If a woman experienced uterine orgasms, she will no longer experience them after hysterectomy
- Physique changes - The severed ligaments will cause the spine to compress resulting in a protruding abdomen / thickening waist leading to back, hip and leg problems. (Interestingly but not surprisingly, back problems were mentioned as a symptom of uterine prolapse yet there was no mention of this common consequence post-hysterectomy.)
- In 35-40% of hysterectomies, the ovaries fail prematurely due to the loss of blood supply.
- Removal of the uterus increases risk of heart disease 3 times that of an intact woman. This risk is 7 times when the ovaries are removed.

And, as if this isn't shocking enough (although it really isn't shocking to those of us who know the truth about the tactics used by those in the hyst industry), Dr. Philpott also stated that if a woman is post-menopausal, he recommends ovary removal to eliminate the 1 in 70 chance of ovarian cancer. (Testicular cancer rates are similar yet they don't prophylactically remove testicles! Ovary / testicle removal is CASTRATION.)

During Q&A, after going through "all" the index cards of attendees' questions, I asked why they didn't address mine. The facilitator denied getting my card even though I saw the other woman hand it to her at the podium. Of course, there was no answer so I started to speak saying that they hadn't addressed the adverse effects of uterus removal on heart, bones, physique, sexual function. I stated that the ovaries function throughout life and that they're the equivalent of a man's testicles - would they have their testicles removed? I don't think so! Of course all three doctors just sat there probably flabbergasted! I said that ALL women deserve to know the facts before signing a consent form and suggested they go to www.hersfoundation.com to get these facts. At the time I didn't know about http://www.uterinearteryembolization.com/ or I would have mentioned it too.

 
At September 10, 2010 at 7:43 PM , Anonymous Sh-t Disturber said...

Pt. I: I attended a program on "A Candid Discussion about Women's Gynecological Health Issues" sponsored by Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis. There were three doctors that presented, an ob/gyn, Timothy Philpott, M.D., a urologist and an interventional radiologist.

The first presentation was done by ob/gyn Timothy Philpott, M.D. He covered some treatments for gynecological problems including fibroids, excessive bleeding, prolapse, endometriosis. Hysterectomy and myomectomy were included along with some non-surgical treatments. He failed to include the many adverse effects of hysterectomy. Of course, this wasn't what one would call a "candid" discussion but no one should be surprised by that!

As one would suspect, the urologist covered treatments for bladder prolapse and incontinence including his partnership with Dr. Philpott to suspend the bladder during gyn surgical procedures, hysterectomy included. As we all know, the bladder will fall after the uterus is removed. With the outrageous number of hysterectomies, I'm sure the urologist is doing quite well financially!

The UFE presentation was last. It included some hyst consequences - sexual dysfunction, bladder prolapse, physical and emotional effects - probably intended more as a marketing ploy for UFE than educational. A 1 in 300 chance of embolism from UFE was mentioned.

 
At September 10, 2010 at 7:44 PM , Anonymous Sh-t Disturber said...

Pt. II: The following well documented consequences of hysterectomy were not covered during this "candid" discussion:
- If a woman experienced uterine orgasms, she will no longer experience them after hysterectomy
- Physique changes - The severed ligaments will cause the spine to compress resulting in a protruding abdomen / thickening waist leading to back, hip and leg problems. (Interestingly but not surprisingly, back problems were mentioned as a symptom of uterine prolapse yet there was no mention of this common consequence post-hysterectomy.)
- In 35-40% of hysterectomies, the ovaries fail prematurely due to the loss of blood supply.
- Removal of the uterus increases risk of heart disease 3 times that of an intact woman. This risk is 7 times when the ovaries are removed.

And, as if this isn't shocking enough (although it really isn't shocking to those of us who know the truth about the tactics used by those in the hyst industry), Dr. Philpott also stated that if a woman is post-menopausal, he recommends ovary removal to eliminate the 1 in 70 chance of ovarian cancer. (Testicular cancer rates are similar yet they don't prophylactically remove testicles! Ovary / testicle removal is CASTRATION.)

During Q&A, after going through "all" the index cards of attendees' questions, I asked why they didn't address mine. The facilitator denied getting my card even though I saw the other woman hand it to her at the podium. Of course, there was no answer so I started to speak saying that they hadn't addressed the adverse effects of uterus removal on heart, bones, physique, sexual function. I stated that the ovaries function throughout life and that they're the equivalent of a man's testicles - would they have their testicles removed? I don't think so! Of course all three doctors just sat there probably flabbergasted! I said that ALL women deserve to know the facts before signing a consent form and suggested they go to www.hersfoundation.com to get these facts. At the time I didn't know about http://www.uterinearteryembolization.com/ or I would have mentioned it too.

 
At September 10, 2010 at 7:46 PM , Anonymous Sh-t Disturber said...

Pt. II The following well documented consequences of hysterectomy were not covered during this "candid" discussion:
- If a woman experienced uterine orgasms, she will no longer experience them after hysterectomy
- Physique changes - The severed ligaments will cause the spine to compress resulting in a protruding abdomen / thickening waist leading to back, hip and leg problems. (Interestingly but not surprisingly, back problems were mentioned as a symptom of uterine prolapse yet there was no mention of this common consequence post-hysterectomy.)
- In 35-40% of hysterectomies, the ovaries fail prematurely due to the loss of blood supply.
- Removal of the uterus increases risk of heart disease 3 times that of an intact woman. This risk is 7 times when the ovaries are removed.

And, as if this isn't shocking enough (although it really isn't shocking to those of us who know the truth about the tactics used by those in the hyst industry), Dr. Philpott also stated that if a woman is post-menopausal, he recommends ovary removal to eliminate the 1 in 70 chance of ovarian cancer. (Testicular cancer rates are similar yet they don't prophylactically remove testicles! Ovary / testicle removal is CASTRATION.)

During Q&A, after going through "all" the index cards of attendees' questions, I asked why they didn't address mine. The facilitator denied getting my card even though I saw the other woman hand it to her at the podium. Of course, there was no answer so I started to speak saying that they hadn't addressed the adverse effects of uterus removal on heart, bones, physique, sexual function. I stated that the ovaries function throughout life and that they're the equivalent of a man's testicles - would they have their testicles removed? I don't think so! Of course all three doctors just sat there probably flabbergasted! I said that ALL women deserve to know the facts before signing a consent form and suggested they go to www.hersfoundation.com to get these facts. At the time I didn't know about http://www.uterinearteryembolization.com/ or I would have mentioned it too.

 
At September 10, 2010 at 10:20 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

Sh*t Disturber, you are awesome!

 
At September 11, 2010 at 10:21 AM , Anonymous Marie said...

Ms. Coffey,
What do you think about mammograms? I am reading more and more about their effects and the disturbing information about how profitable it is and gyn's even get kickbacks for any patients they send to the mammogram facilities.

I have heard about an alternative that is safer called a breast thermogram. Just curious about your thoughts...

 
At September 11, 2010 at 10:26 AM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Marie's points about the safety and effectiveness of mammograms are well taken.

What are the experiences of women with mammograms? Have you ever had one? Did you feel that it was inconsequential, or as many women have reported, did you experience a crushing pressure of the breasts?

Did you have a mammogram because a doctor suggested it, or pressured you to have it?

If you decided not to have a mammogram, what factors went into that decision?

 
At September 11, 2010 at 11:01 AM , Anonymous Nora said...

Marie asked what my personal stance is about mammograms. I have never had one.

I believe that mammograms crush the breast, and in doing so, may cause damage to the tissue. If there is a malignant tumor, it the crushing effect of squeezing the breast with a plate may spread cancer cells.

Like all radiologic studies, mammograms expose women to the carcinogenic effects of radiation. I am comfortable with my decision to stay out of doctor's offices, ambulatory surgery centers, hospitals, operating rooms and laboratories. Everyone needs to what is right for them.

Thermograms do not use radiation and appear to be safe. The debate rages on about whether it has the same error rate as mammograms, false positive and false negative. One can only speculate about how much of that debate is driven by profit. Cancer is big business. When doctors, hospitals, cancer "treatment" centers, university and pharmaceutical research laboratories and private industry have huge financial incentives to promote what is most lucrative for them, the public is at risk. False promises and over treatment with unproven and often dangerous drugs, radiation and surgery by institutions and individuals who are shielded and protected from prosecution is not conducive to truthful information being made public about the dire risks of treatment that is proposed as a lifeline.

 
At September 11, 2010 at 1:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms Coffee,
Thank you for your confirmation. That is the way I feel about it. It's amazing how women's bodies area abused all in the name of "profit".

Have you ever thought about expanding your public information to include the deception with mammograms? I personally have decided not to have mammograms but thermograms instead. I may pay out of pocket, but that's Ok with me. It's worth it to me for the sake of my health.

Regards,
Marie

 
At September 11, 2010 at 1:42 PM , Anonymous Gutted said...

I had three mammograms within a year's time due to "suspicious" calcifications. Before the third one, they recommended that I discontinue my calcium supplement several days prior to the mammo. That one came back clean. Hmmm...I wonder if they intentionally failed to tell me to discontinue the calcium prior to the first two mammograms.

I won't be getting any more breast imaging done. I try to avoid all diagnostic testing since being hysterectomized and castrated for a benign cyst. I'd love to get to the bottom of a malabsorption issue but have resisted any imaging so far.

 
At September 11, 2010 at 5:01 PM , Anonymous Butchered said...

I was sent to have a mammogram a couple months before I was butchered. It was painful and unpleasant. After, in the mail I received the results that it came back negative. When I obtained my medical records, the result sent to my doctor stated that it was inconclusive because there were no other scans to compare it to. My insurance was billed $1200. What a scam. After being attacked and mutilated by a doctor, I stay far away from them.

 
At September 19, 2010 at 4:35 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

I'm reading "The Treatment Trap" about how overuse of medical care is wrecking our health.

There's a story of a woman who had worked as a scientist at MIT and in the private sector who wanted treatment for fibroids. After doing extensive research to find a reputable surgeon skilled in myomectomy, she found a doctor who had excellent credentials. He was an associate professor of ob/gyn at a major teaching hospital, taught at Harvard, published articles on fibroids in the medical literature, and was a reproductive endocrinologist.

At the office visit, he asked if she wanted to be included in a drug clinical trial for fibroids. She declined and stated that she wanted a myomectomy. He stated that in her case, the only alternative was hysterectomy (no surprise there!). She reluctantly agreed since he was the "expert" and was highly regarded in his field. She demanded that HE do the surgery instead of a resident. He was emphatic that he would. She requested an epidural as she wanted to be awake during surgery. He agreed. Nothing went as planned. She received general anesthesia and a resident admitted that he did the surgery. This resident didn't even know how to remove the surgical staples. She has major muscle and nerve damage and cannot sit, stand or lie down in any one position for any length of time without extreme pain. She has not been able to return to work. She later discovered that, unbeknownst to her, by having a hysterectomy, this doctor included her in his drug clinical trial hysterectomy control group.

This doctor's license was later revoked, not for his misconduct in this woman's case, but for falsifying scientific data in federally funded medical research including altering and fabricating patient medical records. His license was later reinstated and he now works for a pharmaceutical company overseeing clinical trials on women's health.

Knowing the fraud that appears to be rampant in the medical and pharmaceutical industries, it's no surprise that he's now overseeing clinical trials!

 
At September 19, 2010 at 11:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you please reveal the doctor's name so we will know to stay away from him if he ever goes into practice again? It doesn't seem that his identity should be protected.

 
At September 20, 2010 at 1:30 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

They didn't identify him in the book. The notes in the back list the patient's name as they used some of her quotes from Lise Cloutier-Steele's "Misinformed Consent: Women's Stories about Unnecessary Hysterectomy."

I will list the name of the doctor who mutilated me at St. John's Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis. Instead of removing one ovary as recommended by his oncologist, he waited for the results of the frozen section and then removed my other ovary and my uterus.

His name is Richard C. Muckerman II, son of now deceased previous Chief of OB/Gyn at St. John's, Richard C. Muckerman I.

Dr. Muckerman was assisted by two post-graduate ob/gyn medical students, a PGY-4 and a PGY-1. I highly suspect this played into the removal of my healthy organs.

 
At September 21, 2010 at 11:09 AM , Anonymous Charmaine said...

My hysterectomy was four years ago. I am still learning to put up with the consequences like the ugly buddha belly, weight gain, bladder incontinence, bowel problems and loss of libido. My partner and I used to have sex just about every day but now we hardly have intercourse at all. I find penetration to be uncomfortable. After the hysterectomy, I sought treatment to ease these problems and was prescribed all sorts of synthetic hormones, painkillers and antidepressants. There was a time I even contemplated suicide, I felt so gutted. Violated is the word that best described how I felt after having my female organs removed. I have long stopped going to doctors seeking help. I now have no faith at all in the medical profession. My view is that doctors are in fact the cause of most diseases. There's no money for them in telling a healthy 47 year old woman with fibroids to do nothing and wait for menopause but there was a big pay off for my greedy unscrupulous doctor when he pressured me into believing that if I didn't have a hysterectomy, the fibroids or 'tumours' as he kept referring to them would multiply and grow and that I would hemorrhage and need life saving blood transfusions. All lies of course. I know now that I didn't need a hysterectomy but at the time, I believed his lies. I have since learned to my great regret that the 'cure' is much worse than the 'disease'. I won't be fooled again that's for sure. No more doctors for me. Regards, Charmaine

 
At September 24, 2010 at 7:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nora Coffey,
Do you know if sonograms for the uterus are safe? I know you said thermograms appear safe... just wondering if you know about sonograms. I want to ensure my lining does not get thick and lead to hyperplasia and cancer. Would like to check it each year with a sonogram, but only if it is safe.

Thank you for your reply.

Charlene

 
At September 24, 2010 at 8:08 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Hello Charlene,

Ultrasound does not expose you to radiation. It's a pretty safe diagnostic study that functions by causing a violent vibration of the molecules in your body. Although that may not be completely without consequences, you probably don't need to be concerned about an ultrasound performed once a year. Pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound are a good way to evaluate the thickness of the endometrial lining of the uterus to see if it is a normal thickness.

 
At September 26, 2010 at 12:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nora Coffey,
Thank you so much for the information about the sonograms. I am grateful that you are here.

Charlene

 

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