Bengaluru: While hysterectomies have seen a reduction in Western countries with doctors favouring more conservative approaches, in India these have become the second most common procedure performed by obstetricians and gynaecologists after the caesarean section. The number of hysterectomies done in India continues to rise despite there being no concrete reason for conducting the procedure. Women are getting their uterus removed even in cases where the organ can be saved by other medical options. A significant number of hysterectomies done in India are unnecessary and may even be unethical. This was said by Dr. Vidya V Bhat, Medical Director, RadhaKrishna Multispecialty Hospital, Bengaluru, ahead of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health.
Said Dr. Vidya V Bhat: “About 70% of hysterectomies in India are conducted in the private sector, with much higher rates in the less educated and rural population. More and more women in the country are getting hysterectomies at a younger age, many of them being in their twenties. This is very concerning. In Karnataka, a study has found that nearly 50% of women who had undergone hysterectomy were less than 35 years of age. In Gujarat, the incidence of hysterectomy is 20.7 per 1,000 women years, which is four times higher than in countries like USA and Germany.”
Dr. Vidya V Bhat added: “There are many reasons for unindicated hysterectomy, including patient-related factors like menstrual taboos, lack of social and financial security, lack of knowledge, and lack of access to primary healthcare. Many women regard reproduction as the sole function of the uterus and are easily convinced that hysterectomy is a permanent solution if they are not using any form of contraception. They do not realize that hysterectomy has serious health implications. The abnormal rise in the incidence of hysterectomy shows that we as society are failing in improving women’s health.”
Hysterectomy is not without side effects, with younger patients bearing the brunt. Said Dr. Vidya V Bhat: “Hysterectomised women see their ovarian reserve go down, which in turn causes skin dryness and decreased sexual desire. The surgery is often accompanied by removal of ovaries to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. There may be vaginal burning, increased urinary frequency and early onset of menopause. Women who have undergone hysterectomy tend to have increased incidence of heart disease and may also show symptoms of osteoporosis at an early age.”
Women, mostly from poor socio-economic backgrounds, are often coaxed into hysterectomy with the fear of cancer. In many instances, it is inappropriately recommended as the first line of treatment for minor gynaecological issues that may not directly be related to the uterus, such as lower abdominal pain, back ache or white discharge. Early marriage, closely spaced childbearing and early hysterectomy is a road map followed by many Indian women during their reproductive years.
Said Dr. Vidya V Bhat: Many alternative methods of treatment to hysterectomy today exist, including oral remedies, hormonal injections for excessive menstrual bleeding, and removal of just the fibroid and not the entire uterus. Regular cervical cancer screening will also help reduce the incidence of hysterectomy. There is a dire need of counselling services for women regarding their reproductive health, the importance of uterus and the medical conditions that necessitate hysterectomy. With the advances in medical science, hysterectomy should be the last resort for a woman, not the first.
A 2018 Indian government survey found that more than 22,000 Indian women aged 15-49 out of the 700,00 surveyed had undergone a hysterectomy. The fourth National family & Health Survey found that 6% of women in age group of 30-49 years had undergone a hysterectomy in India as a whole. The purpose of hysterectomy is to save women from uterus-related, life-threatening conditions. The procedure should be done above 45 years to decrease its side effects.
Profile of RadhaKrishna Multispeciality.
Radhakrishna Multispeciality Hospital was inaugurated on 23/8/2003 by Padmabhushana Sri Veerendra Heggade Dharmadhikari of Srikshetra Dharmasthala . Their holiness Sri Sri Balagangadharnatha Swamiji and Sri Sri Keshavananda Bharathi Swamiji blessed the occasion with hearty benedictions to Sri B. Krishna Bhat , Girinagar Founder Father of the Hospital and his son Dr. B. K. Vishwanath Bhat the managing director accompanied by his wife Dr. Vidya V. Bhat Medical director.Since inception the Hospital strived hard to make a dent in all specialities of medical care aspiring for the dizzy heights of success . Now it can boast of as a Hi-Tech Super Speciality 50 beded Hospital excelling in Laparoscopic surgery and other Super Specialities It is equipped with the latest Sophisticated Equipments. The pride of the Hospital is its broad panel of consultants who are trained in India and abroad being experts in their faculty and they are affable to the last need of the patients.
They have done more than 1000 Total Lap Hysterectomies with skills which has been demonstrated in workshops attended by eminent Gynecologists and Surgeons from all over the state . They are one of the highest volume centers in Karnataka for Total Lap Hysterectomies. Apartment from Laparoscopic Hysterectomies we are also pioneers in doing Lap Myomectomies .The hospital is equipped with the Morcellator to remove the Myoma or Fibroid in pieces. Except ovarian Malignancies which is a contra indication for Laparoscopy all the other Gynec Surgeries are efficiently tackled Laparoscopically in this Hospital.
They have also facilities for Hysteroscopic procedure both Diagnositic & therepetic like TCRE (Trans Cervical Resection of Endometrium) Polupectomies , Myomectomies and office Hysteroscopy This is the only 50 beded Hospital in Karnataka where surgical care is given by Surgical Gastroenterologist. We are specialized in both Open & Laparoscopic GI Surgery Procedure . We would proudly put forth that we are the one among the first few to do Lap Oesophagectomy, Lap Gastric bypass ( Obesity Surgery) , in addition to Lap Colorectal Surgery which is done frequently in our center.
Yes it is a unique program as doctors can sit at home on a Sunday and watch these surgeries on their laptops, iPad and mobile