Morcellators in Laparoscopic Surgery

In Blog, Cancer, Gynecology, Surgical Procedures by Dr. Gary Goldman

Morcellators cut tissue into smaller pieces which can be removed through the tiny incisions made during laparoscopic surgery. The advantage of using this tool is obvious: smaller incisions equates with faster hospital stays, better cosmetics, less pain, fewer wound complications and quicker return to work. But like all surgery, there are risks, one of which is spread of an occult malignancy of the uterus called a sarcoma. Sarcoma’s account for 1/350 – 1/1,000 fibroids, which are the much more common benign growths found in the uterus. Unfortunately, sarcomas and fibroids cannot be differentiated pre-operatively. The FDA “discouraged” use of morcellators in their warning this April. Some hospitals, such as Massachusetts General Hospital, have initiated a moratorium on their use. Here at Cornell, we have placed strict guidelines for their use and mandated a detailed informed consent process with our patients. Today’s Wall Street Journal quotes a new publication from Columbia reiterating the risks of morcellators. Read more here:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/study-finds-new-cancer-risk-from-hysterectomy-device-1406041202?KEYWORDS=morcellation

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm393689.htm