At least one expert says the hysterectomy Lena Dunham opted to get for her endometriosis was highly unusual.This opinion was issued in response to the touching essay Dunham wrote this week about seeking out a hysterectomy for her endometriosis.
The Cut spoke to Dr. Kathy Huang, the director of the Endometriosis Center at NYU Langone Medical Center, who said she never recommends getting a hysterectomy for endometriosis.
“First of all, you should never get a hysterectomy for endometriosis,” she told The Cut. “I’m going to start with that. That’s not actually the definitive treatment. A hysterectomy just removes the uterus. It doesn’t actually fix the endometriosis, because those lesions are outside of the uterus.”
Huang said the only circumstance in which you would want to get a hysterectomy would be in the case of adenomyosis, when endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, grows into the muscular wall of the uterus.
Of course, Huang acknowledges that she doesn’t know the details of Lena Dunham’s medical history, nor is she familiar with the medical advice she received or did not receive.
“I think the frustrating part about this for me is that I don’t know if she was well-informed,” said Wang. “Although she must be right? She’s Lena Dunham … I would highly encourage women who are offered hysterectomies for endometriosis to seek second opinions.”
Although Dunham’s essay was relatable, heartbreaking, and inspiring, it’s important that women who read it going through similar medical situations don’t jump into seeking out treatment that might be unnecessary or dangerous.
Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter, @arr_scott