After Caesarean section, hysterectomy is the most common surgical procedure for women in the United States. Research now suggests a popular method of laparoscopic hysterectomy may lead to cancer in some women.
American women have the highest rate of hysterectomy in industrialized countries. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests a procedure known as morcellation could be hazardous to thousands of women who undergo laparoscopic surgery every year.
Morcellation is a technique where uterine fibroids are incised and cut or ground into small pieces by a knife or spinning blade inside the abdominal cavity. The pieces are then removed through the small laparoscopic incisions used to insert the tool. The procedure is less invasive, seemingly less dangerous and requires less recovery time than traditional surgery.
Research and case studies now suggest serious concerns about the use of morcellation during hysterectomy or fibroid tumor removal, including:
- The presence of cancer is unknown until excised tissue is biopsied. After morcellation, tissue is sprayed throughout the abdominal cavity, potentially seeding many areas with cancerous cells.
- Benign fibroid tissue dispersed into the abdomen can create fibroid growths on the bladder, bowel or other organs, causing added pain and possibly additional surgery.
- Blades used to perform morcellation can nick and cut tissue and organs during the procedure.
While some patients are calling for a ban on the procedure, others are calling for development of safer techniques of morcellation. Most healthcare providers agree women are not being advised of their risk, and thus cannot provide informed consent for a potentially deadly procedure.
If you or a loved one suffers injury from risky medical procedures or a healthcare mistake, talk to an experienced injury law firm in San Diego.