It is estimated that 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the US each year, 90% of which are for the treatment of benign tumors called fibroids. The morcellator is a powered surgical tool that is used during minimally invasive procedures to grind the fibroids and uterus into smaller pieces of tissue allowing for removal through small incisions. After surgery when the presumed fibroids are tested, about 1 in 350 prove to be cancerous. If this cancer is present when the tissue is morcellated, the cancer cells can be spread throughout the abdomen, greatly reducing life expectancy. On April 29, 2014 Johnson & Johnson suspended sale of its morcellators pending further review. A number of hospitals have restricted the use of morcellators. On April 17, 2014 the FDA formally discouraged the use of morcellators for hysterectomy and myomectomy (removal of fibroids).
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