Several studies and research have further strengthened evidence that morcellators can play a role in the spread of uterine cancer. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, morcellators are no longer recognized as safe and effective medical devices for removing fibroids or other noncancerous growths during hysterectomy or myomectomy. The US Food and Drug Administration has already issued warnings against the use of morcellators in uterine surgery.
Morcellators are drill-like medical devices for shredding and removing tissues in surgical procedures such as hysterectomy, fibroid removal, and other gynecological operations. Johnson & Johnson already withdrew its morcellators from the worldwide market after the warning issued by the FDA. Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson and a manufacturer of power morcellators, suspended the sales of these devices pending further studies.
In a review of more than 200,000 patients, it was revealed that 1 in every 368 women who were treated with morcellators had unsuspected uterine cancer during or after their procedures. Medical records also revealed that in 36,470 cases that undergone morcellation procedure, 99 were diagnosed with uterine cancer. Aside from that, 26 other gynecologic malignancies were identified as well as 39 uterine lesions of uncertain malignant potential and 368 cases of endometrial hyperplasia.
A study by the University of Michigan conducted in February 2015 revealed that 1 in 368 women who underwent hysterectomy or fibroid removal had undetected uterine sarcoma. Cells from these cancers, which includes the lethal leiomyosarcoma can spread throughout the abdomen during the procedure. It can upstage the cancer, making the treatment more difficult. The study used information from nearly 7,500 women diagnosed with hysterectomy.
Another study, which was published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology revealed that women who undergo morcellation for treating hysterectomy are more prone to risks of undetected cancer than women who undergo fibroid removal. Younger women who want to have children prefer fibroid removal than hysterectomy compared to their older counterparts.
“I think our findings are important because prior to this there were few studies that have examined the use of morcellation in the public, and we really didn’t have a good idea of what the risk of cancer was,” lead author Jason Wright, MD said “From a patinet’s perspective, this is important because it helps them gauge the risk of undergoing morcellation. I think it’s important for doctors and patients to discuss the true risk of cancer when considering morcellation.”