The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is discouraging the use of a surgical technique often used during minimally invasive surgery to treat uterine fibroids because it poses a risk of inadvertently spreading cancer cells from an undetected uterine tumor.
“Health care providers and patients should carefully consider available alternative treatment options for symptomatic uterine fibroids,” the FDA said.
The focus of the agency’s concern is the use of electric or power morcellators during laparoscopic surgery to cut uterine tissue or fibroids into fragments that can be removed through the small incisions used in minimally invasive surgery. In a safety communication released on April 17, the FDA said that based on its analysis of currently available data, 1 in 350 women who are treated for fibroids with a hysterectomy or myomectomy is found to have an unsuspected uterine sarcoma, such as a leiomyosarcoma.
Stephenson J. FDA Warns Against Procedure Used in Removing Fibroids. JAMA. 2014;311(19):1956. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.5182