- Power Morcellation May Spread Benign Disease as Well as Cancer
- April 22, 2015 | Author: Kyla Gail Cole
- Law Firm: Waters & Kraus, LLP - Dallas Office
- Power morcellation, according to three Johns Hopkins physicians, can cause benign uterine disease to spread. Three case reports from the Baltimore Maryland hospital demonstrated that use of the morcellator medical device may require more extensive surgery later and increase a patient’s risk of death. Three physicians with Johns Hopkins’ prestigious Kelly Gynecologic Oncology Service published these case reports in January 2015 in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Johns Hopkins Case Reports Warn that Power Morcellators Present Risks Even for Patients without Cancer
In November 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning that power morcellation should not be used for most women undergoing hysterectomy or myomectomy for fibroid tumors. The FDA’s focus has been on the risk of spreading cancer that was previously undetected. Power morcellators will soon be accompanied by a black box warning concerning that risk.
The risk reported by the Johns Hopkins’ physicians is different. The recently published case studies reveal that there are potential risks from morcellation even when uterine pathology is benign. The three women had all undergone laparoscopic hysterectomies via power morcellation. Though their disease had been benign, within a year after the surgeries the women returned to their physicians with symptoms that were suspicious for cancer. One woman had multiple soft tissue tumors; another had an abdominal mass; the third had a pelvic mass and bowel obstruction. They were all forced to undergo exploratory laparotomy and to have surgeries in which organs were resected or dissected to remove noncancerous disease that had been disseminated by the power morcellator during their hysterectomies.
The case report authors are encouraging surgeons to ensure that potential morcellation patients do not have cancer and to caution patients about the risks of spreading malignancies and benign disease.