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Dreams of motherhood fulfilled through hysterectomy alternative

Forum: Women's Health


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May 9th, 2012, 12:21 PM
one.juniper's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I work at a newspaper so I'm hooked up to all sorts of news wire services and I got this from News Canada this afternoon and thought the women on Just Mommies might be interested in the article...

Press release | Important Women's Health Message for Mother's Day

I wasn't sure if people who aren't subscribed can view the articles though, so here's a copy and paste.

Dreams of motherhood fulfilled through hysterectomy alternative

(NC) -- As Mother's Day approaches on Sunday, May 13, an Ontario woman is sharing her story of hope so that other women can benefit from her struggle to avoid a hysterectomy.

Five years ago, Shannon, then 25, was told she needed a hysterectomy to remove a large, non-cancerous fibroid (tumour) that was growing in her uterus. The tumour was growing by the month and causing Shannon to experience extremely heavy and painful periods. She was devastated at the thought of never being able to conceive.

But after doing her homework and getting a second opinion, Shannon underwent a much less invasive procedure called a laparoscopic myomectomy, which removed only the fibroid and left her uterus intact. A year later on her wedding day, she was seven months pregnant with her first child and has since given birth to her second son.

“If we had listened to the first doctor we went to our children wouldn’t be here,” says Shannon, whose story appears in a new book about minimally invasive alternatives to hysterectomy called The UNHysterectomy. Solving Your Painful, Heavy Bleeding Without Major Surgery by Ottawa author and patient advocate Holly Bridges. “Mother’s Day is an extremely special day in our house because we came so close to losing the chance for a family. I want other women to know they have options.”

Bridges says since the publication of her book in April, many other Canadian women have come forward with similar stories.

“I have heard from women from B.C. to Newfoundland who are suffering from the same debilitating symptoms as Shannon, many of whom have been told hysterectomy is their only option. Nowadays, there are so many medical and surgical alternatives available; the problem is finding a gynecologist who is trained, willing and available to offer them. All the more reason for women to ask questions, do their research and insist on receiving the safest, least invasive procedures available, whether they choose a hysterectomy or not. This can be difficult, but not impossible if women do their homework.”

Medical editor of The UNHysterectomy, Dr. Sony Singh, Executive Director of the Canadian Society of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, and Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecology at the Shirley E. Greenberg Women’s Health Centre at The Ottawa Hospital, says the issue for women of all ages is about choice.

“Choice is so important especially when it comes to women suffering from Heavy Menstrual Bleeding or pain. When we can provide a woman with choice then she can be armed with the opportunity to make the best choice for her and her family.

“The reason I am so passionate about minimally invasive gynecology is that it offers a woman a quicker recovery, less risk of infection, bleeding, clotting or possible hospital re-admission and the outcomes are fantastic.”

Dr. Singh reminds women that while the type of surgery performed on Shannon, a myomectomy, can preserve a woman’s fertility, there are risks including scarring and a chance the fibroids can grow back.

“My husband and I understood the risks before we agreed to have a myomectomy,” says Shannon. “But it was a chance we were willing to take, especially knowing we would have two beautiful children in the end.”

The UNHysterectomy offers Canadian women of all ages and geographic locations 10 medical and surgical alternatives to hysterectomy that will help them solve their Heavy Menstrual Bleeding. It is available at unhysterectomy.com.

About Hysterectomy in Canada
Hysterectomy is the complete or partial removal of the uterus, and sometimes ovaries, cervix and Fallopian tubes. Although rates have been falling in recent years, some 47,000 women underwent hysterectomy at last count. Despite national surgical guidelines recommending keyhole (laparoscopic) approaches, 54 percent of the procedures involve making deep, abdominal cuts. Most hysterectomies are performed for fibroids, benign tumours that grow on or in the uterus. In contrast, minimally invasive gynecological surgery requires fewer incisions, carries a lower risk of organ perforation, requires little or no anesthetic and leads to faster, less painful recovery with lower risk of postoperative infection or complications.

About Holly Bridges
Holly Bridges is a former CBC Radio and TV journalist with 30 years’ experience in journalism and communications. After being diagnosed with fibroids in 2007 and being told hysterectomy was her only option, Bridges sought a second opinion from Dr. Singh. In 2008, she underwent two of the most sophisticated high-tech procedures available in the world today – a hysteroscopic myomectomy and a hysteroscopic endometrial ablation. She lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children.
The UNHysterectomy: Solving Your Painful, Heavy Bleeding Without Major Surgery, is her first book.

Note to editors:
Photos depict Shannon, her husband Matt and their two sons, Winston and Hudson.

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May 9th, 2012, 01:49 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1
Thank you so much for posting my news release. I am the author of The UNHysterectomy and want to make young women aware of their treatment options for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding. Kudos to Shannon too for coming forward with her story. I wish they would have had the Internet when my girls were young (that sounds so weird-it was only 16 and 18 years ago!). Thanks again!
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