Polypus of the Womb.
This is simply a foreign body, or tumor, growing either within the womb, or in the vagina, and attached to the uterine neck. It is rather a serious affection.
These tumors vary in weight from half an ounce and less to many pounds. They are, in color, whitish, red, brown, and even black. They have almost every consistence, being soft, spongy, gristly, and hard.
The Symptoms of polypus are various, resembling those of almost every other womb complaint. It is often mistaken for displacement of the womb, for dropsy of this organ, and for pregnancy.
These tumors are apt to give rise to dangerous bleeding from the womb, and other discharges which greatly weaken and derange the system. They are liable to terminate in cancer. In pregnancy, they may produce miscarriage. When they are suspected, therefore, the utmost scrutiny should be employed to search them out. This is especially desirable, since the fallen or inverted womb may carelessly be taken for a polypus, and be operated on as such.
Treatment. This is of two kinds, medical and surgical. The first consists in means of supporting the strength of the patient, and checking the discharges by means of injections, rest, etc., and in endeavoring to cause the removal of the tumor by absorption.
This last object is sometimes effected by an unstimulating diet; and by the use of iodine (101) for some time. This treatment does not often succeed, however, and cannot be relied upon.
If the polypus be within the womb, of course it cannot be reached. The only thing to be done, in such case, is to cause its expulsion. This is sometimes effected by causing the womb to contract by the use of spurred rye (267), or by the use of the electro magnetic machine. This latter remedy can do no harm, and had better be tried first. INSERTIMAGE8
When the polypus is outside the womb, the methods of removing it are various, the best being by a ligature, or tying a string around the neck of the tumor, and strangling it by preventing the blood from going to it By this means it falls off in a few days. There is one other method, that of cutting the tumor away with a knife, or with a pair of curved scissors. These three last methods are the chief ones now used by skillful surgeons.
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