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Putting morcellation into perspective – ‘Just the facts, Ma’am, nothing but the facts’


Further, if such a ban is imposed, would it then not be equally justifiable to pose similar regulations on use of oral contraceptives for symptom relief, endometrial ablation when fibroids are involved, or for that matter, uterine artery embolization? All these potential treatment regimens delay diagnosis and treatment and leave the potential uterine sarcoma in situ.

In the end, while the disease-free survival as well as overall survival appears to be hindered by dissemination of leiomyosarcoma at time of both electronic and cold-knife morcellation, the diagnosis is fortunately rare. A moratorium on the technique, however, would increase the number of concomitant laparotomies that would be required, and along with it, the increased inherent risk as well as prolonged recovery. At the present time, without better diagnostic tools or safer morcellation techniques, it is imperative to have an open dialogue of the risks and benefits of morcellation and minimally invasive surgery with patients presenting with anticipated fibroids. Additionally, our industry partners must be empowered to create safer morcellation techniques. This would appear to be morcellation within a bag.

Dr. Miller is clinical associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, immediate past president of the International Society for Gynecologic Endoscopy, and a past president of the AAGL. He is a reproductive endocrinologist and minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon in private practice in Naperville, Ill., and Schaumburg, Ill.; the director of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Ill.; and the medical editor of this column. Dr. Miller said he is a consultant for Ethicon, which manufactures a morcellator.

*Correction, 3/19/2014: An earlier version of this story misstated the type of surgical route.

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