Power morcellators are used in a number of surgical procedures. More information about a hidden danger with the procedure known as power morcellation was provided by the FDA yesterday. According to the FDA’s news release, power morcellators substantially increase the risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue.

“Power morcellation has long been suspected of undisclosed complications, such as the spreading of cancerous tissue,” commented Brandon Bogle, an attorney with the Levin, Papantonio law firm who practices in the areas of personal injury and medical device litigation. “This FDA news release indicates a significant advance in the information available to the public.”

At least two-dozen women have come forward and stated that their cancer was aggravated or worsened by the device (power morcellator), according to USA Today.

According to the FDA:

If laparoscopic power morcellation is performed in women with unsuspected uterine sarcoma, there is a risk that the procedure will spread the cancerous tissue within the abdomen and pelvis, significantly worsening the patient’s long-term survival. While the specific estimate of this risk may not be known with certainty, the FDA believes that the risk is higher than previously understood.

Because of this risk and the availability of alternative surgical options for most women,the FDA is warning against the use of laparoscopic power morcellators in the majority of women undergoing myomectomy or hysterectomy.

Reports indicate that as many as 50,000 women undergo procedures that involve the use of a power morcellator each year.

The device operates by pulverizing fibroids after entering the body through a small incision. It minces the fibroid before removing it through the small incision. It is this process, known as morcellation, that is suspected to spread the dangerous cells into the body.

The FDA is continuing to evaluate the device and procedure and would ask that anyone suspecting they have suffered an injury report it to their MedWatch site.

Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.