Among Female Boomers
A New York gynecological surgeon wants to enlist financial advisors in a battle to protect the health and the wallets of female baby boomers by reducing the notoriously high U.S. hysterectomy rate.
The surgeon, Dr. Ernst Bartsich, says surgeons need to think twice before recommending hysterectomies and women need to think twice before asking for hysterectomies.
In most cases, “there is no need to do a hysterectomy if you dont have cancer or precancer,” Bartsich says.
For financial advisors, urging female baby boomer clients to consider alternatives to hysterectomy could be a good way to help those clients avoid disputes with health insurers over medical necessity, pressure to drain health savings accounts and complications that might lead to disability claims, Bartsich says.
Today, even though the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Washington, recommends that women undergo hysterectomies only after they and their doctors have ruled out all other options, U.S. women have a total of about 600,000 hysterectomies per year, according to a paper published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers have found that U.S. women are far more likely to have hysterectomies than women in other developed countries.
Doctors perform hysterectomies on about 0.4% of U.S. women and girls each year. The U.S. hysterectomy rate is about 3 times higher than the rate in Australia, a country where women tend to live longer than U.S. women, according to a report published in 2000 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris.
In 2000, a team led by Dr. Michael Broder, a researcher at the University of California at Los Angeles, reported that only about 24% of the 497 hysterectomies they studied clearly met ACOG criteria for determining whether women need hysterectomies.