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Hysterectomies and Power Morcellators
Morcellators are surgical devices used to separate and remove parts of the body (known as “morsellation”). Due to its physical makeup, it is commonly used in conjunction with laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is the technique whereby doctors make small incisions in the body and then perform operations far removed from that original site. This procedure is employed to minimize scarring and the complications of surgery. Since their invention, several different kinds of Morcellators have become standard and their usage has become standard within the medical community.
Morcellators are often used in hysterectomies. A hysterectomy is the process by which a woman’s uterus is removed. In certain instances, the ovaries and/or the fallopian tubes need to be removed as well (extraction of the former is referred to as oophorectomy and extraction of the latter is referred to as salpingectomy). Unfortunately, if a woman needs a hysterectomy prior to entering menopause, it will eliminate her ability to bear children.
Also, the removal of the ovaries will actually trigger the beginning of menopause. There are several different varieties of hysterectomies including those that remove some of the ovaries, all of the ovaries, or all of the ovaries and other parts of the female reproductive system (known as subtotal, total, and radical hysterectomies).
Causes for Hysterectomies
Hysterectomies typically follow the discovery of serious medical problems, after close consultation with doctors. Symptoms of these significant issues can be found with heavy periods, pelvic pain, discomfort during sex, backaches, and a prolapsed uterus, to name a few. However, there are many causes necessitating a hysterectomy, and some of them include the following:
- Cancer: Hysterectomies are often the only solution when cancer has spread to female reproductive parts including the cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus.
- Fibroids: Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow inside or close to the uterus. Typically, they are in and of themselves not threatening. However, they normally cause so much pain that doctors recommend their removal, and, in some instances, their advanced development might necessitate a hysterectomy.
- Adenomyosis: This condition is a very common problem for women. It occurs when tissue that is supposed to line the uterus wall actually begins to grow inside the uterus, causing great pain and making periods extremely discomforting.
- Endometriosis: This medical condition happens when cells that are typically, and supposed to be, found in the uterus start to occur in other parts of the female reproductive system such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the general pelvic region. This will prompt significant pain and doctors will normally prescribe less-aggressive medications before electing to recommend a hysterectomy.
- Vaginal pain, bleeding, or prolapse: In certain circumstances, especially after childbirth, parts of the female reproductive system might begin to fall from their natural position. Additionally, for any number of reasons, the uterus might start to bleed or develop pain. While a hysterectomy is often not the first measure taken in these situations, it is often one of the last and most major options considered.
These are just some of the symptoms and causes associated with the application of a hysterectomy. For a complete understanding, you should speak with a doctor or other medical professional.
Hysterectomy Process and Morcellator Usage
There are a number of different techniques and forms of hysterectomies (subtotal, total, radical, etc.). They typically differ according to the stage of the underlying problem affecting the woman in the first place. Using a direct approach, some doctors make a cut in the abdomen or vagina of the woman and immediately remove the part of the body that is affecting her. In a more direct method, often using a Morcellator, doctors make a small incision on the woman’s body then use technology to locate the troubled part and remove it. With a Morcellator, they can mince and extract the with minimal impact on the using its hollow, tube design.
Statistics on Hysterectomies and Morcellators
- Over 20 million women in the U.S. have had a hysterectomy.
- Nearly 60,000 hysterectomies are performed every year in the U.S.
- The majority of hysterectomies are not medically necessary, and are performed at the election of the woman.
- According to the C.D.C., hysterectomies are the second most frequent surgery for women in the U.S.
- Every year, over 50,000 new cases of uterine cancer will be diagnosed.
If you have undergone a hysterectomy with a power morcellator and have developed a cancer or other complications, contact our attorneys for a free case review.