Power morcellation surgeries are performed on women with uterine issues. A morcellator is a medical device that is used to cut uterine tissue into small pieces during these surgeries so they can be sucked out through laparoscopic ports. Morcellators are often used because recovery time from these surgeries was supposed to be shorter due to the smaller incision that a surgeon could make to remove the tissue. However, the benefit of a smaller incision and quicker recovery time may come at a high price. Serious side effects and risks have been recently discovered that manufacturers did not warn the public against.
The risks associated with Morcellator surgeries are coming into light following scrutiny from the FDA. There has also been recent medical literature that highlighted these risks. The morcellator risks that the FDA was concerned with include spreading cancerous tissue throughout the abdomen during a hysterectomy or a fibroid removal surgery. Prior to surgery, there is no known way to detect uterine sarcoma, a type of uterine cancer. When a morcellator is used to cut up tissue, it can break up cancerous tissue cells and leave them behind in the abdominal cavity. Using a morcellator can spread the cancerous tissues and advance the state of the cancer. The FDA believes that a small but not insignificant percentage of women who undergo a power morcellation surgery have some uterine sarcoma, thus greatly increasing the risks associated with using a power morcellator for a hysterectomy or fibroid removal vs the traditional methods.
Women and families who were affected by unknown cancer after a morcellation surgery have started fighting back and filing lawsuits across the country. While the morcellator did not cause the cancer, it did spread it around and significantly decrease chances of survival. In addition, morcellator manufacturers did not warn doctors or the public about the chances of spreading cancerous tissues throughout the body. Many women would not have allowed the use of a morcellator during their surgery if they had known of the serious associated risks.