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U.S. Hysterectomy Rates Remain High

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Although there are less expensive alternatives, the number of hysterectomies performed in the United States has remained at about 600,000 per year over the past 25 years, says a report released Monday by the not-for-profit National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC).

About one in every three women will have a pelvic disorder by age 60. Based on current trends, about 25 percent of women in the United States will have had a hysterectomy by age 60, and most will be treated with the open total abdominal procedure, said the report, presented at the Global Congress of Minimally Invasive Gynecology in Washington, D.C.

"Many women are still being treated for fibroids and menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) with hysterectomy, particularly the most invasive total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH), even though it comes with a long and painful recovery," Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, NWHRC executive vice president, said in a prepared statement.

"While there are some cases where TAH is appropriate, women need to understand that there are less invasive options to hysterectomy that can get them back to their daily lives quicker and are actually more cost effective," she said.