Harm of Removing Ovaries During Hysterectomy Might Outweigh Benefit

29 Apr 2023 • As per recent study results published in the Annals of Internal Medicine last week, it assessed long-term health consequences after ovarian removal at benign hysterectomy. An emulated target trial of more than 140,000 women in Denmark found that removing the ovaries at benign hysterectomy was associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease in younger women and cancer in older women at low risk for ovarian cancer.

Researchers from the Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark studied health records for 142,985 women who underwent a benign hysterectomy with or without bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes) to compare long-term outcomes. What did the researchers find?

  • Compared with women who did not have their ovaries removed, women who had their ovaries removed were less likely to have ovarian cancer.
  • For premenopausal women (younger than 45 years), those who had their ovaries removed were hospitalized more often for cardiovascular diseases.
  • Women around the time of menopause (ages 45 to 54 years) and after menopause (ages 55 years and older) who had their ovaries removed had an increased risk for all other types of cancer combined.
  • The authors noted that women who had their ovaries removed at perimenopausal ages had more deaths when measured at 10 and 20 years after surgery, but women aged 55 years or older had fewer deaths when measured at 20 years after surgery.

The findings support “current recommendations for not removing ovaries in premenopausal women who do not have a high risk for ovarian cancer,” and a cautious approach to oophorectomies in postmenopausal women.

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine | Read full article

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