Some medical doctors and their organizations continue to espouse the use of morcellators for their women patients in need of a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) or myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroid masses, or myomas. This may seem to be a bit of a mystery, in light of recent discoveries about the dangerous side effects of power morcellators. However, it is important to note that not all types of morcellators pose the same level of risk.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two warnings to the public regarding the use of power morcellators in certain procedures. The main point of the warning was that epidemiological studies indicate that there is a link between power morcellators and the increase in the number of uterine sarcoma or leiomyosarcoma cases reported. Visit this website for more information about morcellator-related cancer growth.
One would think that doctors that routinely performed the procedures would be the first to avoid using them. That is not the case, and this is because there are actually two types of morcellators available for use. The most common type is laparoscopic morcellators, which is the subject of the dire FDA warnings. Another type of device for this purpose is hysteroscopic morcellators, which is a completely different kettle of fish.
Laparoscopic morcellators are typically used in a technique called “open morcellation” in which the device gets in through a small incision, shreds the tissue, and then removes it. It is done without the benefit of an enclosure, which allows pieces of tissue to land any which way in the pelvic and abdominal cavity. It is no wonder that some are left behind, and if these are cancerous (sarcomatous), it may trigger the spread of cancer cells.
Hysteroscopic morcellators, on the other hand, is a newer device that has attachments to trap and collect the shredded tissue so nothing falls by the wayside. With every bit of ground tissue collected, there is nothing left behind to cause post-surgical complications. No cancer cells, no spread.
The FDA concurs. When the hysteroscopic morcellator is used according to instructions, they do not pose the same risk to patients. The absence of sarcomatous tissue from the peritoneal cavity precludes the risk of morcellator-related uterine sarcoma.