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March 4, 1983

Hysterectomy Among Women of Reproductive Age

Author Affiliations

Southern California Permanente Medical Group Panorama City

JAMA. 1983;249(9):1148-1149. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330330030013

To the Editor.—  The report by Dicker et al entitled "Hysterectomy Among Women of Reproductive Age" in The Journal (1982;248:323) did little, in my opinion, except document the number of such hysterectomies performed and document interregional differences in the numbers and types of hysterectomies. Without any documentation of the indication for the hysterectomy, eg, anatomical disease, functional disorder, sterilization, or patient desire correlated with histologic conditions, the report does little more than document numbers without any understanding.The report perpetuates questions of the "possible overuse" of hysterectomy and whether the hysterectomies are "justified operations." One person's "unjustified" or "unnecessary" may well be another person's "justified" or "necessary" surgery. The woman who has completed her childbearing may desire not only to have surgical sterilization, but also not to menstruate for the next two or more decades of her life. She is as free to make such a decision, in a fully