Gynecologists use power morcellators when they perform procedures, such as a hysterectomy or a myomectomy. These instruments, also called electric morcellators, do much of the cutting involved in laparoscopic and robotic surgeries. The morcellators, tiny devices with rotating blades, break large tissue masses into small fragments. Broken down tissues are then vacuumed away and out of the body.
The technique allows surgeons to make incisions of less than 2 centimeters in size and be able to remove fibroids and other tissue. These smaller entry points to the body mean doctors do not have to make large cuts through core stomach muscles. The transition to the small incisions has led to quicker patient recoveries, less post-operative pain and fewer wound complications.
Some former patients are finding more serious complications related to procedures in which doctors use morcellators. Recent medical evidence shows the removal of broken up fibroids and tissues may not be 100 percent effective. If any of those tissues contain cancer cells and do not get removed, they get spread to other areas, leading to the development of cancerous tumors.
Surgeons use these devices in women for hysterectomies and removing benign masses called fibroids. But, they may also be used in laparoscopic renal (nephrectomy) or spleen (splenectomy) surgery. In these cases, benign or cancerous tissue spread to the abdomen in women or men, causing problems.