Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Power Morcellatation: What You Should Know

What is a Power Morcellator?

A Power Morcellator is device used in hysterectomies to cut tissue into small pieces to be removed from the body. However, uterine cancers sometimes go undetected prior to the procedure. In these cases, the morcellator dices up and spreads unsuspected cancer inside the woman's body.

Scary Statistics
  • Hysterectomy is the 2nd most common surgery among women in the United States
  • By age 70, one out of three American women will have had a hysterectomy
  • 90% of these surgeries are done to remove Fibroids (non-cancerous tumors found in the uterus)
  • The average life span following accidental morcellation of sarcoma is only 24-36 months
  • Only 15% of women who have leiomyosarcoma (LMS) that has spread (stage 4) will be alive after 5 years
  • Women with sarcoma who are morcellated are about 4 times more likely to die from sarcoma than if they had not been morcellated.
Because of the serious risks associated with the usage of this device the FDA is discouraging the use of the Power Morcellator, and are even considering a ban.  Johnson & Johnson's division that manufactures the devices has actually suspended sales worldwide pending research.  This will probably lead to a total recall of the Power Morcellators already in use.

So What are the Alternatives?

Traditional hysterectomies involve the complete removal of the uterus; this still remains the most common surgical choice.  If only fibroids need removed surgeons can do a myomectomy instead.  Both procedures require a single abdominal wall incision.  For details on what all is involved in this procedure, check out WebMD's Hysterectomy and Oophorectomy Directory.

Laparoscopic hysterectomies can be more complicated than the traditional method because there are multiple abdominal wall incisions.  They could still end up requiring the use of a Power Morcellator to remove large pieces.

Other surgical and morcellation options do exist but they all have their own set of risks.  The whole idea scares me so I hope I never have to even consider having a hysterectomy!


Just like with the vaginal mesh damage there are lawsuits popping up, although I haven't seen anything class action yet.  For more information on the existing lawsuits or to receive a free case review please visit the American Recall Center.

For those of you who have had a hysterectomy, what method was used?
Do you know of anyone who developed cancer after having a hysterectomy?

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