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Penny asked...

I have been diagnosed privately with the HPV virus...

I have been diagnosed privately with the HPV virus (screening Type 31) but my smear tests (private and NHS)are normal. I am 72 and it has been suggested by my private consultant to have a hysterectomy now rather than maybe an emergency one when I am quite a bit older. I am loathe to have an op which is not urgent because I have adhesions in my tummy from 4 previous ops including a bowel resection. I would be very grateful to hear what you advise. Many thanks, Penny

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The answer

Thank you for your question.

It is understandable that you are concerned, especially when a Hysterectomy has been advised by your specialist.

It is unclear from your question what type of Hysterectomy has ben suggested by your Specialist.

There are less invasive measures of having the surgery (Laparoscopic/Keyhole), which may be something you could discuss, if this would be an available option in your circumstances. Also it is unclear if there has been a timescale for your surgery to take place. May we suggest a further discussion with your Specialist to clarify these points, as they may be helpful in your decision process to proceed with the operation.

With regards to the type 31 HPV, it is regarded as a higher risk strain than some others. The Human Papilloma Virus can also lay dormant in the body; therefore this is possibly the reason that your Specialist would like you to consider the Hysterectomy procedure as an “elective” (planned) surgery. I hope this has been of some assistance to you. We would usually suggest that these points are raised with the Specialist, as they will have access to your past medical history, results and medical notes available to them, which will have an influence on what is considered best practice for your individual treatment/management.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses