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What Is a Power Morcellator?

By: Anapol Weiss

Power morcellators are made by multiple manufacturers, and provide a less-invasive option in gynecological surgeries. They are shaped much like a drill, and can be inserted into a woman’s lower abdomen through a tiny incision. Once inside, during hysterectomies or myomectomies, they work by rapidly spinning blades which shred, grab and/or and chop up organs and tissue for removal through small incisions. The tool has been used with increasing frequency for laparoscopic gynecological surgeries in recent years

Approximately 650,000 women undergo hysterectomies and myomectomies a year in the United States for uterine fibroids and it is estimated that 50,000 to 100,000 are morcellation surgeries. In these surgeries, a power morcellator is used to slice the uterus and uterine tumors (fibroids) for ease of removal. The tool provides an alternative to the need for an open procedure, which many physicians feel poses other risk factors for women.

Upstaging Undetected Cancer

Serious health problems arise, however, when a power morcellator is used in a woman who unknowingly has cancer as there is currently no reliable test to determine whether a woman with fibroids has a uterine sarcoma. The cancerous tissue being chopped up by the tool is dispersed in the woman’s body, thereby spreading (or upstaging) the cancer, which can attach to other tissue and organs and begin to grow. The spreading of the cancer cells is suspected of accelerating and advancing the cancer to a point where it often becomes untreatable.

Filing a Morcellator Cancer Lawsuit

Women who have filed lawsuits have undergone morcellation procedures only to be diagnosed with cancer post-surgery. In other words, the cancer has likely been spread before the women knew they had cancer.

Contact Anapol Weiss if you underwent a minimally invasive hysterectomy or myomectomy and suspect recurring health conditions may be related to the use of this tool. We can investigate your situation and answer any questions you may have.