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Morcellation Risks

From the Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles List

Patient asking are the risks of morcellation with hysterectomy?What risks are there to having morcellation during a hysterectomy?

While there are many benefits of morcellation during a hysterectomy, there are some risks as well. Because some of these risks could involve cancer and other serious health issues, it is important that you are informed before you agree to the process.

During morcellation, tissues are cut into tiny pieces. This can be done in a "closed" or "open" environment—both are inside the body, but one attempts to contain tissue debris and the other does not. In an open environment, bits of tissue can stray from the original site. These cells can then remain in the abdominal or pelvic region, or even find their way into the incision sites. If these cells contain genetic mutations, find a blood supply, and/or have growth potential, they can cause future issues. This can be especially concerning if the tissues contain previously undiagnosed cancer. In this case, the prognosis becomes much more grave--the tumor may need to be upstaged and more surgery and treatment could be required.

Performing morcellation in a "closed" environment, such as a bag, can help minimize this risk. This method helps keep all of the cells contained so they are not inadvertently spread to new locations. It requires additional training and skill, but it could reduce the risk of spreading undiagnosed cancerous cells and also reduce long term prognosis.

Aside from the risk of spreading dangerous tissues, morcellation also creates pathology difficulties. With the tissue cut into small pieces, it can be difficult for pathologists to determine the exact size and shape of the original tissue. It can also be harder to examine the smaller pieces. This makes pathology more unreliable—affecting diagnosis, staging, and grading of tumors.

As with any procedure, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. If morcellation will be part of your upcoming surgery and you have questions or concerns, talk to your surgeon and seek a second opinion from a knowledgeable gynecological surgeon.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

02-07-2014 - 12:48 AM


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