What is it used for?
It is a surgical instrument used in less-invasive surgeries, for dividing and extracting a whole bunch of tissues, the most common example being the laparoscopic surgery. It generally includes a hollow cylinder, which passes through the abdominal wall and into which a mass of tissues can be pulled for sorting out. It also has sharp edges and jaws for cutting.
The United States morcellators market
- 1991: The FDA (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved the sale of first morcellator operated by electricity through 510(k) process.
- 1995: Cook Tissue Morcellator was the first of its kind to appear in the market.
- 2012: Medical records show the rise of leiomyosarcoma(a type of uterine cancer) to be higher in women who went through uterine morcellation.
- 2014: FDA recommended that the use of laparoscopic power morcellators should be stopped on women with uterine fibroids (leiomyomas ) and for hysterectomy or myomectomy with a warning that it may spread occult cancer.
In the same year Johnson & Johnson recalled its morcellators from the market amid cries against it through a high class campaign, but not before several women died from aggressive uterine cancers. The distraught families filed several lawsuits, to avenge their deceased.
Risks involved with use
In gynaecologic surgeries, or the surgeries specifically designed for dealing with issues specific to the reproductive systemof women and girls, the use of Morcellator increases the risk of an unexpected leiomyosarcomaby 0.09~0.1% which is almost fatal. It is estimated that in 1 in 350 women undergoing hysterectomy or myomectomy might have unpredictable leiomyosarcoma.
Guidelines to be followed by women
If a woman has to go through a uterine morcellation or she has already gone through it, it is best if she considersthese things:
- Consulting a few experts on other options available to treat her condition without the same risk and whether her condition requires so severe a treatment as uterine morcellation.
- Even if after the hysterectomy or myomectomy, she is tested for the uterine cancer and is found normal. She should follow up with her own doctor and if a problem persists and the symptoms are there, immediate health care should be provided to her.
- Other surgical methods are also available to her like the traditional surgical hysterectomy which is performed either through a vagina or abdomen.
While dangerous to life, it is easy to see why some might choose to undergo this process and flirt with the dangers associated with the morcellator. Still it is recommended to consult one’s health care advisor and carefully consider all other options available.
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