Long-term Effects of Hysterectomy

A Focus on the Aging Patient

Catharina Forsgren; Daniel Altman


Aging Health. 2013;9(2):179-187. 

In This Article

Conclusion & Future Perspective

In order for women to make an informed decision on whether or not to have a hysterectomy for benign gynecological disorders, information on immediate outcomes of surgery, as well as the risk of developing disorders later in life should be made available. Adverse long-term outcomes of hysterectomy may include pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, anal incontinence, bowel dysfunction, pelvic organ fistula and renal cell carcinoma.

In the future, counseling on advantages and disadvantages of various modes of hysterectomy can be weighed against alternative treatments. Epidemiological studies may pave the way for an individualized treatment based on a woman's predisposing factors, such as heritability, age, medical history and other environmental exposures. The absolute numbers of women afflicted by late sequela of hysterectomy are relatively low, but the impact of these late complications is often life changing. Considering the immense number of hysterectomies performed every year, the potential risks for subsequent long-term effects in an aging population may have important implications for women's health worldwide.