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by Abigail Van Buren

The Display of Old Glory Deserves Proper Respect

DEAR ABBY: I went to the doctor the other day, and after he examined me, he said I needed a hysterectomy. Abby, I am an unmarried 28-year-old woman, and this is a major decision.

I went home and told my family. My mother didn't express an opinion one way or the other. My father told me to do what I thought was best. My aunt said I shouldn't have it done because I will gain a lot of weight afterward. I talked to two of my best friends, and they both said I shouldn't do it.

Now I don't know what to do. I want to do what's best for me, but I also want to keep my family and friends happy. What should I do? -- MAJOR PROBLEM

DEAR PROBLEM: Keeping your family and friends happy should be your last consideration in making this decision.

Stop asking friends and family for their opinions -- they mean well, but they are not qualified to advise you. See another gynecologist for a second opinion, and if the second opinion isn't the same as the first, get a third opinion.

If you're not acquainted with the gynecologists in your area, call your county medical association. I wish you well.