When is surgery worth it?

This is a big question for me right now for two reasons.

First, I have fibroids and my dr. says eventually I will need a hysterectomy. After reading about hysterectomies on the net, my husband is totally opposed. My parents think I should have had the surgery two years ago. The only reason I really care (these days) is because the price of our insurance is outrageous and the only way we can get new insurance is if I have the hysterectomy. We’ve been turned down by 12 different carriers because they say I’ll eventually “have to have” the surgery. You know, you don’t HAVE to do anything- except die probably. Of course another plus would be no more birth control pills, which I take to avoid 20 days of period each month.

Second, my mom’s doctors are split on whether she should have stomach stapling and body sculpting. Mom’s back surgeon, a wonderful doctor, says Mom needs both. Mom’s regular physician, also wonderful, says she shouldn’t have either. What’s up?

My mom weighs around 290. Even at 5 ft 9 in, that’s too much weight. Plus her lymph nodes aren’t working, so she’s carrying between 20 and 60 extra pounds of fluid. Which puts her over 300. Her legs are going out. The surgeon now says that it is because she weighs too much. They’ve done the back and neck surgery and her pain is better, but her legs are carrying too much weight.

Mom’s regular physician says, yes, that’s true. But my mom is a diabetic. She has had trouble before with anaesthetic and with bleeding, and she’s been on blood thinners for a year now because of clots. He says there is no reason for her to do the surgeries which matches the danger having the surgeries would put her in.

Both my dad and my sister think Mother should have the surgery. Mom’s thinking of doing it just to shut them up. (Not the best reason to have surgery. Especially if one of your doctor’s thinks it’s potentially life-threatening.)

I think she would be better off with the surgery, if she could get through it. But I don’t know that it will do any good. Her eating is psychological, not hunger. If she doesn’t eat less after the stapling, she’ll just mess up her stomach more.

When one doctor says Right Now and the other says Not Ever, what do you do? When your doctor says “eventually” but your finances are arguing for now and your husband is arguing for never, what do you do? I don’t know. I’ve been going for the “If I don’t do anything I won’t have to make a decision my husband won’t like and my parents won’t be upset because I’ve made the decision against their suggestions.”

I’ll probably keep on with that.