In 1972 the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan appointed a committee to study hysterectomies because the Saskatchewan Department of Health had data showing that the annual number of hysterectomies carried out in the province had increased by 72.1 per cent between 1964 and 1971, whereas the number of women over 15 years of age had increased by 7.6 per cent. The committee compiled a list of indications for hysterectomy. Any hysterectomy carried out for one of these reasons was classified as justified, and the remainder as unjustified. Five hospitals were reviewed in 1970 and a further two in 1973. In 1974, all seven hospitals were reviewed again. In these hospitals, the average proportion of unjustified hysterectomies had dropped from 23.7 per cent at the time of the first review to 7.8 per cent in 1974. The total number of hysterectomies in the province dropped by 32.8 per cent between 1970 and 1974.
To describe conditions regarding hysterectomy for benign indications during the past 35 years in Denmark.
Population-based register study of 167,802 women who underwent hysterectomy for benign conditions in the period 1977-2011. Patient data regarding operative techniques, hospitalization, indications, patient age, and geography were extracted from the Danish National Patient Register.
The overall rate of hysterectomy was around 180/100,000 woman years during the period. A rise in laparoscopic and vaginal hysterectomy was seen at the expense of abdominal hysterectomy. The indication of pelvic organ prolapse and abnormal uterine bleeding increased while the indication of fibroids decreased. The average age of women at time of hysterectomy increased from 46 years in 1977-1981 to 50 years in 2006-2011. The mean number of hospitalization days was reduced by 75%. Regional differences were detected regarding route of hysterectomy and hospitalization.
This study demonstrates a change in the pattern of indications for hysterectomy, increased age of the affected women, reduced length of stay in the hospital, and a rise in the percentage of minimal invasive surgical procedures.
In Denmark, total rather than subtotal hysterectomy has been recommended as treatment for benign conditions of the uterine corpus, primarily due to the risk of cervical cancer in the residual stump. Due to possible benefits during and after surgery, it has recently been argued that total hysterectomy for benign conditions could be substituted by subtotal hysterectomy, particularly since cancers of the cervix are declining as a consequence of screening. Cancer risk following supravaginal uterine amputation among 1104 Danish women undergoing operations during 1978-1988 was studied using record linkage techniques with the Danish Cancer Registry. No overall cancer risk, nor an overall increased risk of cancers coded as cervical, was observed. However, a 3.3 to 5.0-fold increased risk for cervical cancer was observed among women whose operations occurred at 50 years of age or older, possibly reflecting an increased risk of cancer in the endocervical area or in remaining uterine tissue. This observation, together with the difficulties in treating a cervical cancer of the stump when it does occur, should be taken into account before a change in surgical procedures from total to subtotal hysterectomies is recommended.