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It is estimated that 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the U.S. each year, 90 percent 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 one 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. Several hospitals have restricted the use of morcellators. On April 17, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration formally discouraged the use of morcellators for hysterectomy and myomectomy (removal of fibroids).

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