The prevalence of uterine cancer was 0.09% among women who underwent myomectomy with electric power morcellation, according to the results of a large database study, lower than for women who underwent myomectomy without power morcellation.
But the prevalence of uterine cancer increased with age, the researchers reported on Feb. 19 in JAMA Oncology.
“Given that older women are at the greatest risk for pathologic abnormalities, electric power morcellation should be approached with caution in patients older than 50 years undergoing myomectomy,” Dr. Jason D. Wright and his colleagues at Columbia University, New York, wrote (JAMA Oncol. 2015 Feb.19).
Electric power morcellation facilitates the excision of uterine leiomyoma in minimally invasive surgery. Its use has received increased scrutiny after a patient underwent hysterectomy with electric power morcellation for presumed benign leiomyoma that was, in fact, a uterine sarcoma, which was disseminated. The case has prompted an evaluation of electric power morcellation safety in performance of hysterectomy and myomectomy.
The Food and Drug Administration also entered the debate last year, issuing a safety alert for electric power morcellators in November and warning “against the use of laparoscopic power morcellators in the majority of women undergoing myomectomy or hysterectomy for treatment of fibroids.”
The Columbia University researchers examined the prevalence of cancers and precancerous abnormalities of the uterus in women who underwent myomectomy from 2006 to 2012 using administrative data from the Perspective database.
Among 38,557 women who underwent myomectomy without electric power morcellation, uterine cancer prevalence was 0.19% or 1 in 528, and prevalence of any pathologic abnormality was 0.67% or 1 in 150.
For women who underwent the procedure with electric power morcellation, uterine cancer prevalence was 0.09% or 1 in 1,073, and prevalence of any pathologic abnormality was 0.43% or 1 in 230.
Age was the strongest risk factor for uterine cancer and other abnormalities.
Comparing women aged 50-59 years to women 60 years and older who had myomectomy without morcellation, the prevalence of uterine cancer increased from 0.62% to 3.40%. In women who had power morcellation, the prevalence of uterine cancer was 0.97% in women aged 50-59 years and 0% in those 60 years or older.
The researchers reported similar trends for endometrial hyperplasia and overall adverse pathologic findings.
The researchers reported having no financial disclosures.