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"Can one be too old for a hysterectomy?"


My mother has a kind of uterine cancer that the doctor wants to remove with a total hysterectomy. I'm especially worried because she is getting quite old. Is there a point at which a person is just too elderly for the risks that a hysterectomy represents?


Unfortunately there is no definitive answer to your question without knowing a lot more information. The risks from any surgery are determined in part by age but mostly by the other medical conditions your mother might have (such as diabetes, or heart disease). The risks of surgery associated with these conditions must be balanced against the risk of the uterine cancer so that a decision can be made as to whether or not to proceed with the surgery.

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This will require a good preoperative evaluation, which should be conducted in partnership between the internal medicine doctor who manages your mother's chronic medical conditions and the surgeon who wishes to perform the operation to remove her uterus. As always the diagnosis and the management of your mother's particular concerns will require a physical examination by her personal physician. Setting up an office visit with her internal medical doctor as soon as possible is highly recommended.

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