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The Dangers Associated with Power Morcellation

closeup image of a surgical mask, stethoscope, and gloves

In a safety release by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the use of laparoscopic power morcellation for the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) or uterine fibroids (myoectomy) in women was discouraged because on an analysis of currently available information. It poses a risk of spreading cancerous tissue, mainly uterine sarcomas, beyond the uterus.

Laparoscopic power morcellation is one of many available treatments for fibroids. It is a procedure which uses a medical tool to divide the uterine tissue into fragments so it can be removed through an incision in the abdomen, such as during laparoscopy.

Based on an analysis of current information, The FDA has acknowledged that approximately 1 in 350 women who are undergoing hysterectomy or myoectomy for fibroids have an unsuspected type of uterine cancer called uterine sarcoma. Thus, if laparoscopic power morcellation is done on these women, there is a risk that the process will spread tissue within the abdomen and pelvis, notably worsening the patient’s probabilities of long term survival.

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that come from the muscle tissue on the wall of the uterus. According to the National Institutes of Health, most women will develop uterine fibroids at some point along their lives. While most uterine fibroids do not cause problems, they can cause symptoms.  Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, pelvic pressure or pain, and frequent urination — these are all inclusive of the possible symptoms.

Several other options are available for women with symptomatic uterine fibroids, including the traditional surgical hysterectomy — carried out either vaginally or abdominally —  and myoectomy, and laparoscopic hysterectomy and myoectomy without morcellation, as well as other non-surgical options.

The FDA will hold a public meeting of the Obstetrics and Gynecological Medical Devices Panel to discuss information in relation to laparoscopic power morcellation.

So, if a health care professional decides to perform laparoscopic power morcellation, you should be aware of this information. First, discuss the options available to treat your symptoms, inclusive must be the risks and benefits of each and every option.  Second, if laparoscopic hysterectomy or myoectomy is recommended, don’t forget to ask your health care professional if power morcellation will be carried out during your procedure and why it is the best treatment option for you. Third, if have already happened to have gone through a hysterectomy or myoectomy for fibroids, tissue removed during the procedure is typically tested for the presence of cancer. If you were told these tests were normal and you have no symptoms, a routine follow-up would be recommended. Patients with constant and persistent symptoms should contact and consult their health care professional.

If you think you have been the victim of laparoscopic power morcellation, contact Zimmerman & Frachtman. At Zimmerman & Frachtman we ensure oncoming clientele with consultation services to help provide for any questions that may arise on the subject of laparoscopic power morcellation mistreatment and the law. If you feel you have been wronged by medical malpractice, Zimmerman & Frachtman is the next step towards having your emotional and monetary expenses met.

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