I was contacted by the Community Awareness Coordinator at the
American Recall Center last week. She wants to spread the word about possible complications from having a hysterectomy relating to the removal of fibroids. I suggested she write up a post about it and I will put it on my blog. Here it is:
FDA Concerns over Surgical Use of the Power Morcellator
Many women undergo hysterectomies or myomectomies for the treatment of fibroids. Since these procedures are common, many people fail to recognize the potential danger involved with such operations. Unfortunately, many women undergoing them have undiagnosed conditions that can cause complications. One such complication is the spread or exacerbation of undetected cancer. Because of this, many women now have to seek financial help for the damages bestowed upon them from the use of a power morcellator and the upstaging of undetected cancer.
Recently, the power morcellator, a surgical tool commonly used during myomectomies and hysterectomies, has come under the investigation of the FDA. The tool is used to dice fibroid tissue into tiny pieces before it is removed from the body. Unfortunately, this process appears to be responsible for the spread of undetected cancer in women.
According to an FDA report released in April of this year, approximately one in 350 women in need of hysterectomies because of fibroids has undiagnosed uterine cancer. Since the power morcellator can cause the spread of cancers that are difficult to diagnose and treat, and the post-operative lifespan of women whose cancerous tumors are accidentally morcellated is less than three years.
The FDA has already determined that there is currently no reliable way to predict which women might have undiagnosed uterine cancer, also known as a uterine sarcoma. This problem is compounded by the currently poor prognosis for some types of uterine cancer, including leiomyosarcoma or LMS. Because a woman’s risk cannot be properly evaluated prior to surgery, it is at this time impossible to tell if the use of a power morcellator will cause the accidental morcellation of a cancerous tumor.
The FDA convened for meetings on July 10 and 11 of this year in order to discuss power morcellators and the risks involved with their use. A decision has not yet been reached, but work is being done to raise awareness about these dangers among the general public. As awareness is raised, women will be able to make better healthcare choices for themselves.
You can find out more about getting financial help here.