Uterine cancer was found affecting women undergoing electric power morcellation during a minimally invasive hysterectomy surgery, a new study has found. 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 malignancy 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 cancer in women who underwent uterine morcellation. The database includes more than 500 hospitals capturing 15 percent of hospitalizations.
"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 procedure."