Surgery done without enough evidence for need; cases reported in many dists

With reports about cases of ‘unwanted’ hysterectomy being performed coming from many districts, the office of the Lokayukta has sought a report from the Commissioner for Health and Family

Sources said during a surprise visit by officials from the Lokayukta office to the taluk hospital in Malavalli near Mandya, it was found that a general surgeon had conducted more than 2,000 hysterectomies despite there being a gynaecologist in the hospital.

General surgeon’s ‘feat’

A source said the visit followed a complaint about unwanted hysterectomies. Enquiry revealed that more than 2,000 surgeries were indeed conducted over the years by one general surgeon.

“The enquiry is still on and the data is available only till 2012. It seems the particular surgeon was in the hospital till 2015, before he was transferred to some other district hospital. During the enquiry, a gynaecologist in the hospital said she too had performed a few surgeries. However, she was not aware why the general surgeon conducted the large number of hysterectomies,” the source said. The Lokayukta office has also written to experts in Vani Vilas Hospital, Bengaluru, to know whether a general surgeon can perform surgery to remove uterus.

“We have sought details about the number of hysterectomies in every district and whether there is a well-laid procedure for the same. Thousands of women in and around Mandya visit the taluk hospital in Malavalli. We wanted to know from experts if surgery is the only remedy in all cases,” an official said.

There were reports from Ranebennur in Haveri district, where more than 1,500 women from nearby areas were prescribed hysterectomy. A delegation of women from the thandas had complained to Health Minister K R Ramesh Kumar in this regard. Similar reports emerged from Chikkamagaluru, Kalaburagi and Hassan districts.

In January this year, Karnataka Janaarogya Chaluvali, a non-government outfit, scrutinised the medical records of hundreds of women who had undergone surgery and found it was performed without adequate clinical evidence about its necessity.