Study examines presence of uterine cancers at the time of hysterectomy using morcellation

July 22, 2014

Among women undergoing a minimally invasive hysterectomy using electric power morcellation, uterine cancers were present in 27 per 10,000 women at the time of the procedure, according to a study published by JAMA. There has been concern that this procedure, in which the uterus is fragmented into smaller pieces, may result in the spread of undetected malignancies.

Despite the commercial availability of electric power morcellators for 2 decades, accurate estimates of the prevalence of at the time of electric power morcellation (in this study referred to as morcellation) have been lacking, according to background information in the article.

Jason D. Wright, M.D., of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, and colleagues used a large insurance database to investigate the prevalence of underlying in who underwent uterine morcellation. The database includes more than 500 hospitals capturing 15 percent of hospitalizations.

The researchers identified 232,882 women who underwent minimally invasive hysterectomy from 2006-2012; morcellation was performed in 36,470 (15.7 percent). Among those who underwent morcellation, 99 cases of were identified at the time of the procedure, a prevalence of 27/10,000. Other malignancies and precancerous abnormalities were also detected. Among women who underwent morcellation, advanced age was associated with underlying cancer and endometrial hyperplasia (a condition characterized by overgrowth of the lining of the uterus).

"Although morcellators have been in use since 1993, few studies have described the prevalence of unexpected pathology at the time of hysterectomy. Prevalence information is the first step in determining the risk of spreading cancer with morcellation," the authors write. "Patients considering morcellation should be adequately counseled about the prevalence of cancerous and precancerous conditions prior to undergoing the ."

More information: DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.9005

Related Stories

Many women with pelvic prolapse prefer to keep uterus

November 22, 2013

(HealthDay)—More women may prefer uterine preservation to hysterectomy for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse symptoms, according to research published in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

J&J halts sale of electric fibroid removal devices

April 30, 2014

Johnson & Johnson is halting sales of devices used to remove growths in the uterus following a government warning that the electronic surgical tools can inadvertently spread cancer to other parts of the body.

Patients seek US ban on fibroid removal devices

July 11, 2014

More than a dozen Americans—including cancer patients, their family members and physicians—called on U.S. health regulators on Friday to block the use of electronic surgical tools used to remove fibroids, but which can ...

FDA weighs cancer risk of fibroid removal devices

July 12, 2014

Federal health advisers say there is little to no evidence that a popular technique for removing fibroids can be performed without the risk of spreading undetected cancers to other parts of the body.

Recommended for you

Strange circular DNA may offer new way to detect cancers

July 30, 2015

Strange rings of DNA that exist outside chromosomes are distinct to the cell types that mistakenly produced them, researchers have discovered. The finding raises the tantalizing possibility that the rings could be used as ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.