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Check out the New FDA Opinon on Morecellators

Posted on March 05, 2019

In a bold new move, the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has changed it's stance on power morcellators during surgery. So now, the FDA today recommends limiting the use of laparoscopic power morcellators to procedures combined with tissue containment systems. They should also be limited to use in women who are under 50 and pre-menopausal.

That's a big deal because these machines were very common in fibroid surgeries. But what exactly is a morcellator? Here's what you need to know.

What are Morcellators?

If you have fibroids, you may be told to have surgery. That surgery could be a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) or myomectomy (removal of the fibroid). And, once upon a time, doctors used power morcellators during laparoscopic surgery. This is a tool that helps divide and break up your tissue into smaller pieces. Using a morcellator makes it easier to remove your fibroid tissue through a small surgical incision.

Dangers of morcellation during myomectomyWhile this idea is good in theory, we now know that this tool has been found to spread cancer cells throughout your body. In fact, the FDA has warned against the use of power morcellators.

Why is Morcellation Dangerous?

When women undergo either a hysterectomy or myomectomy, they may also have malignant uterine sarcoma. That's an aggressive type of cancer that is fatal once it spreads. And the power morcellator's rapidly spinning blades spread malignant cells to other areas inside your abdomen.

Previous data suggested that 1 in every 10,000 women who undergo myomectomy or hysterectomy has an undiagnosed uterine sarcoma, but newer findings suggest that number is actually closer to 1 in 350. This discovery makes morcellation even more dangerous than originally thought.

Is There a Way to Make Morcellation Safer?

While some surgeons suggest that the use of containment bags will help minimize the unwanted spread of tissue, this method isn’t completely safe--after all, these bags can break!

Because of all the potential risks, there is currently no way to make morcellation safe. That's because fibroid tumors can easily hide sarcomas.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization: A Non-Surgical Option

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is performed by an interventional radiologist and blocks blood flow to the uterine fibroids, thus causing the tumors to shrink. We keep your uterus completely intact and make no incisions. Patients leave the office without sutures and are able to go home the same day. And, because no surgery is necessary, there is no risk of spreading dangerous cancer cells to other parts of your body!

To learn more about UFE, schedule a consultation with Houston Fibroids.


Sources: Medical Design & Outsourcing, FDA.gov

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