Innovation and Transformation in Morcellation Following FDA Warnings
After the FDA issued increased warnings on the dangers of power morcellators, the gynecological community reacted strongly: hospitals banned the device, insurance companies refused to cover procedures, and activist medical professionals spread the word. A survey, which will be published in the May 2015 edition of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, shows just how seriously doctors are taking the FDA’s warnings. Study results show that nearly 80% of gynecologists and fellowship faculty at large U.S. teaching hospitals have changed their methods of performing these surgeries due to safety concerns. Doctors are getting innovative in the wake of this crisis, and a “broad transformation” is occurring in the hysterectomy and laparoscopy industry to increase effectiveness and patient health. A mini-laparotomy surgery has been developed, which removes the uterus through an incision, combining the benefits of a minimally invasive surgery with the merits of a more traditional method of operation. Gynecologists are also manually removing fibroids within the confines of surgical bags to avoid the spread of unknown cancer risked with the use of a morcellator. The consensus among the medical community is that when performing these surgeries, slightly larger incisions, an extra day of recovery, and marginally longer operations are worth the alternative—the spread of dangerous cancer throughout patients’ bodies from hidden uterine sarcoma.