Guest Post by Judy Cohen Outreach Coordinator for the American Recall Center
Did you know 1 in 6 people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime? Knowing how to read and react to a stroke can determine a victim’s outcome. Just remember the acronym F.A.S.T. And be careful of Xarelto, a medication used to prevent stroke and blood clots. The medicine has recently shown to cause internal bleeding, read more about it here.
Dangerous device used in procedures like hysterectomy and myomectomy
*Note from Stephanie Thomas at Book Blurbs: As a woman and someone who knows several people who have had or may have hysterectomies, many close family members, I think it’s important to be informed about the dangers of this instrument used in minimally invasive surgeries. I actually read a news article not too long ago about this and at the time personally knew someone who was having a procedure done using this exact device. It scared me to think something worse could happen. I made sure to inform her right away and thankfully she chose a different option. So you never know when you might need to know something like this. It could save the life of your loved one.
Power Morcellation: What You Should Know
In April 2014 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety warning about a device called a power morcellator. A power morcellator is used during minimally invasive surgery on the uterus. The FDA’s warning is about the potential of the power morcellator to spread cancer beyond the uterus.
Risk of Spreading Cancer
An analysis of current data has revealed that about one out of every 350 women undergoing treatment for uterine fibroids has an undiagnosed and unsuspected type of cancer called a uterine sarcoma. If a power morcellator is used on these women, the cancer can be spread throughout the abdomen. Uterine sarcoma is usually curable if it is contained within the uterus. If spread throughout the abdomen, it may become life-threatening.
The FDA’s warning is intended to discourage the use of power morcellators during uterine surgery. If a health professional decides that a power morcellator is the best way to treat the patient, the FDA urges that the health professional discuss the possibility of spreading cancer with the patient, and that the health professional consider using a “bag” during morcellation in an attempt to contain all of the tissue. Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest manufacturers of power morcellators, responded to the FDA’s warning by asking customers to discontinue use of the devices and to return them to the company.
A power morcellator is a tube-shaped device with rotating blades. It is used during laparoscopic surgeries. A laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive type of surgery. Instead of making a large incision and opening up the patient, multiple small incisions are made. The power morcellator is inserted through these tiny incisions. The power morcellator is used to cut up tissue into tiny pieces so it can be removed through a tube inserted through one of the tiny incisions. Laparoscopic surgery is less painful and easier to recover from than open surgery, and leaves barely visible scars.
When used in uterine surgery, power morcellators are often used to assist in laparoscopic removal of uterine fibroids, a surgical procedure referred to as a myomectomy. Power morcellators may also be used to assist in laparoscopic removal of the entire uterus, a surgical procedure referred to as a hysterectomy.
Already had a procedure?
For women who have already undergone a procedure with a power morcellator, it is important to follow up with your doctor. After a hysterectomy or myomectomy, as a routine precaution the removed tissues are almost always examined for any signs of cancer. If these tests detected only normal tissues, most likely you will be fine. However, immediately report any abnormal signs or symptoms to your doctor.
Considering a procedure?
Women considering a hysterectomy or a myomectomy should discuss their treatment options with the doctor. There are a number of different treatment options for uterine fibroids that do not use power morcellation. The risks and benefits of each treatment option should be discussed with the doctor before a final decision about the treatment approach is made.