Urgent FDA Action Turns Power Morcellation Into Rarely Used Gynecological Procedure
The power morcellator should no longer be used for hysterectomies or fibroid removal in the vast majority of women getting these procedures, FDA declared in a highly anticipated guidance document Nov. 24.
Using a new authority that bypasses public comment, the agency stopped short of imposing an outright ban on the device, but severely restricted its use in the following manner:
• The agency placed a “black box” label on the device, warning that the use of power morcellators during fibroid surgery may spread cancer and decrease the long-term survival of patients. The boxed warning is FDA’s sternest warning for significant risk of serious or life-threatening adverse effects.
• The agency’s guidance decreed that power morcellators are contraindicated for removal of uterine tissue in menopausal and post-menopausal women, and in women who are eligible for surgeries that remove uterine tissue intact i.e. through the vagina or mini-laparotor.
• Similarly, power morcellators are now contraindicated in gynecologic surgery in which the tissue to be morcellated is known or suspected to be cancerous.