Surgical procedures pose several risks. The benefits from these procedures usually outweigh the risks. Still, many doctors prefer to perform minimally invasive procedures as much as possible. To significantly reduce the risk of infections, doctors make use of specialized surgical tools that allow them to operate using smaller incisions. Among such tools is the laparoscopic power morcellator, which was originally manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and saw widespread use starting the 1990’s.
Morcellators are used to remove benign growths called fibroids inside a woman’s uterus. While these are noncancerous growths, uterine fibroids can still lead to some level of discomfort. Most of the time, these fibroids cause women to experience heavy menstrual bleeding, longer menstrual cycles, pelvic and back pain, frequent urination, and constipation. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, women can also experience issues with fertility.
The use of morcellators has proven to be very effective. In fact, a good number of doctors prefer to treat patients with fibroids through morcellation due to its quick recovery time. However, recent findings have shown that morcellators can cause a lot more harm than good. In particular, a campaign led by Dr. Amy Reed indicates that morcellators can be exacerbating the spread of undiagnosed cancer in some women.
A statement issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2014 warned doctors of the potential dangers morcellation can cause for patients with undiagnosed uterine cancer. This specific type of cancer can be hard to diagnose prior to surgery, and the growths it cause can be hard to distinguish from benign fibroids. Since morcellation uses a fast-spinning blade to slide down fibroid tissues, doctors can end up inadvertently slicing malignant growths and cause the cancer to spread even more easily.
Still, morcellators the use of morcellators continues to be rampant in the medical community. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, several doctors continue to use morcellation for lower risk patients. On top of that, morcellator manufactures continue to market the dangerous device. The website of Williams Kherkher emphasizes that the correlation between mocellator use and cancer growth will continue to affect peoples’ lives unless the medical community is held accountable for these devastating incidents.