Some New Mexico gynecologists may still use a tool called a power morcellator in hysterectomies. The process of morcellation, in which a woman’s uterus is sliced into smaller pieces for minimally invasive surgical removal, is a controversial one. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who had hysterectomies did not have more complications if morcellation was not used. However, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has defended the practice.
According to the ACOG, the matter is a question of informed consent. They argue that women should be informed about the risks and should make their own decision. However, opponents of the practice say that it increases cancer risk and that there is no evidence that justifies the procedure on the grounds that it reduced post-op complications.
The same researchers who found no evidence of increased complications without morcellation published an earlier study that found a much higher risk of cancer upstaging as a result of morcellation. In all, vaginal surgeries and minimally invasive surgeries have a complication risk under 5 percent. Complications from open abdominal hysterectomies are nearly 20 percent. As morcellation declined, these numbers did not shift.
For a patient who suffers complications as a result of a surgical error during a hysterectomy, the consequences could be devastating. These errors might be compounded by a failure to recognize postoperative complications or to treat them properly. Patients might suffer a sudden drop in blood pressure or develop an infection after surgery. This could lead to a serious setback, a longer period of hospitalization and the resulting additional medical expenses. Those who have been harmed in this manner may want to discuss their situations with a medical malpractice attorney.