Ovarian surgery often unnecessary

Illustration.Photo: Gorm Kallestad / SCANPIX

Women often undergo risky operations to remove benign ovarian tumours,without them being necessary according to a study by Lund University.

The researchers at the Swedish University now say that the health service should review the treatment forms that are available.

They have reviewed how nearly 2,000 women with benign tumours or ovarian cysts have been operated on.According to the study,the alternative to surgery is to perform regular monitoring of the ovaries with ultrasound, and it is also safer than surgery.

Lil Valentin,a professor at Lund University and senior consultant at Skåne University Hospital,has led the study.Valentin wonders why women are exposed to risky operations if they do not suffer from problems and the tumour looks benign.She also pointed out that tumours and cysts are often discovered by chance.

She hopes the health service will take note of their conclusions and follow the recommendations,but believes there is little hope of it.

‘’It is very difficult to change anything in the health care system.Old truths live on forever’’ she said.

Some of the side effects after surgery may be gut and stomach pain,chronic pain, and for women with childbearing potential,there is a risk of fertility loss. However, the operations are most risky for older women.

Also in Norway,there has been much discussion about ovarian surgery.

In recent years, several women in Norway have been paid compensation from Norwegian Patient Injury Compensation (NPE) after they had accepted that they had improperly removed the ovaries.Several women lost the opportunity to have their own children.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today