A research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) supports FDA concerns about the use of electric power morcellators for hysterectomies and fibroid removal (myomectomy).
The problem is that morcellation (cutting the uterus into small pieces) can spread uteran cancer cells to other parts of the body. Many women who had this procedure done did not know they had uteran cancer.
Studies have been done to determine how many women who had a hysterectomy with morcellation also had undetected uterine cancer. These past studies were single-center studies, meaning they only looked at women who had the procedure done at one surgical center.
The study discussed in the JAMA article published online yesterday used a database that included information from 500 hospitals. The research team identified use of an electric morcellator by looking at charge codes. They then looked for surgery codes indicating the surgeon found uterine cancer, cervical cancer and other gynecological cancer.
What they found was that almost 1 in 370 women who had hysterectomies with electronic morcellators had cancer that was undetected prior to surgery. Most of these cases were women over 40, and the “the prevalence ratio for a uterine malignancy increases with increasing age.
What do you think about the use of an electric power morcellator (device that cuts up a uterus before removal) during a hysterectomy? Should the makers of these devices be held accountable for the spread of uterine cancer?