Researchers from the Irvine Medical Center at the University of California indicated in a report published on February 5, 2015 by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology that more specific guidelines are needed before determining whether power morcellators should be used in laparoscopic hysterectomies. Morcellators are surgical tools that doctors use to less invasively break up uterine fibroids during hysterectomy and myomectomy procedures. The device has been found to spread unknown cancer cells hidden in the tissue—sparking a number of lawsuits in recent months.
This new research concluded that more pre-operative screening should be required before patients undergo morcellation. Previous research studies yielded poor-quality data, giving no reliable conclusions about whether a patient’s uterine fibroids were cancerous before they were to be removed. The study concluded that surgeons should consider alternatives to morcellation, and that: “Specific guidelines for the use of power morcellation may be of benefit while awaiting advances in preoperative diagnosis of sarcomas. If preoperative evaluation raises suspicion for malignancy, morcellation clearly should be avoided.”