Medical Malpractice

In April 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration discouraged the use of power morcellation in a safety communication. Just a few months later, the FDA recommended against using power morcellation in peri- and postmenopausal women.

New study shows dramatic decrease in power morcellation use during hysterectomies

In a study recently published in JAMA, a physician with the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York and his colleagues studied the trends involving the use of power morcellation, the prevalence of abnormal pathology and the route of hysterectomy before and after the FDA issued its communications.

Data on women between the ages of 18 and 95 was used in the study. These women all underwent a hysterectomy between 2013 and the first quarter of 2015. The researchers identified 57.8 percent of women who underwent the minimally invasive hysterectomy. In the first quarter of 2013, 13.5 percent had the surgery done with power morcellation. By the fourth quarter, that number had risen slightly to 13.7 percent. Abdominal hysterectomies increased during this same period of time from 27.1 percent to 31.8 percent.

The warnings from the FDA are believed to have caused the decrease from 13.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 2.8 percent in the first quarter of 2015. Abdominal hysterectomies also increased from the beginning of 2013 to the first quarter of 2015. There were concerns that a decrease in morcellation would mean more hysterectomies were done with a laparotomy, which has a higher risk of complications; however, the risk of complications was not as high as morcellation’s risk of spreading uterine cancer.

Rates of uterine cancer and other gynecologic cancers were not changed

According to the researchers, the warnings from the FDA meant there were fewer women having hysterectomies via a power morcellator. The high rate of abnormal pathology after the FDA warnings, though, showed the difficulty in the detection of abnormal uterine pathology before surgery.

Have you been injured due to a power morcellator?

If you or a family member have been diagnosed with uterine cancer after having a hysterectomy with a power morcellator, you may have legal options available to you to seek compensation. An experienced attorney can help you learn more about pursuing compensation.