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Invisible VisitsBlack Middle-Class Women in the American Healthcare System$
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Tina K. Sacks

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190840204

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190840204.001.0001

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The Mississippi Appendectomy

The Mississippi Appendectomy

Race and Reproductive Healthcare

Chapter:
(p.93) 4 The Mississippi Appendectomy
Source:
Invisible Visits
Author(s):

Tina K. Sacks

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190840204.003.0005

This chapter begins with a discussion of the historical antecedents of reproductive healthcare for Black women in America, including an overview of the overuse of hysterectomies among Black women, sometimes referred to as the “Mississippi Appendectomy.” The chapter outlines a theoretical framework, including racial essentialism in medicine, from which to understand contemporary reproductive health issues—particularly in the treatment of fibroids and hysterectomy. The chapter also illustrates contemporary practice patterns in which healthcare providers seemed to vacillate between dismissing women’s healthcare concerns to recommending intensive interventions, like major surgeries, to address common gynecological problems that may be treated with less invasive procedures.

Keywords:   racial essentialism, reproductive healthcare, fibroid disparities, hysterectomy disparities, Mississippi appendectomy

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