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Common Fibroid Operation Warning

Amy Reed and husband, WSJ image

Amy Reed and husband, WSJ image

Dr. Amy Reed is a 41-year-old anesthesiologist at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. After she underwent a procedure to remove uterine fibroids, she was diagnosed with a rare uterine cancer and was told that a minimally invasive procedure called morecellation may have spread her stage IV cancer.

The surgery involves grinding up the fibroids and removing the pieces through small incisions. Dicing up the growth before removal may inadvertently be spreading cancerous material through the abdomen.

Dr. Reed’s husband, a Boston area surgeon, has launched a campaign to immediately halt the procedure. See it on Change.org here.

His petition says one in 415 women who undergo fibroid surgery actually have a sarcoma. That translates to two to five women who may have cancer spread by a morcellation procedure.

“Fibroid development is very common in 20 to 40 percent of women over the age of 35. A fibroid is a growth made of muscular tissue of the uterus and often is benign but fibroids can mask a cancer growth.  Often doctors remove what they believe to be a fibroid and never have a test to determine if cancer was present,” according to the petition. 

The petition says More than 600,000 hysterectomies are done in the US every year. By the age of 70, one out of every three American women will have had a hysterectomy. About 90% of these surgeries are done for what is presumed to be the benign condition called fibroids. However, if the procedure results in an accidental morcellation of sarcoma, the life span of the woman is 24-36 months.

 “This is an avoidable disaster.”

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reports of the nearly 500,000 hysterectomies done in the U.S. in 2010, about 11 percent involved morcellation and that number is considered to be conservative.

“Please sign our petition so we can get the word out.  We want the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology to change this “standard of care” by ending the needless waste of life caused by spreading cancer with morcellation.”

Dr. Reed does not blame the hospital for her cancer but for possibly spreading it. For now, Massachussetts General Hospital will inform women about the risks from the procedure. Brigham and Women’s Hospital will limit the procedure.

The Petition notes that these companies are involved with morcellation devices.

1) ETHICON: Gynecare morcellator

2) Storz: Rotocut Morcellator

3) Richard Wolf Medical Instrumentation Company

Intuitive Surgical’s Da Vinci Robot deserves special mention, as the frequency of robotic hysterectomies performed by gynecologists is currently on the rise across the United States. Though not a morcellator, robotic surgery such as with the DaVinci robot requires the uterus be morcellated or chopped up before it can be extracted.

The Petition states that the DaVinci robot does not appear to carry an adequate user for the surgeon, the end user.

“It is noteworthy that the DaVinci robot does not appear to have a readily available warning label advising against its use to morcellate tumors with malignant potential inside the body. The company’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Myriam Curet, a surgeon herself, has been informed and advised of this severe hazard in the use of DaVinci for robotic hysterectomy and the absence of a readily available warning label.”

 

Learn More:

Wall Street Journal, Doctors Eye Cancer Risk in Uterine Procedure, December 18, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304173704579264673929862850

Petition, Change.org by Dr. Hooman Noorchashm

http://www.change.org/petitions/women-s-health-alert-deadly-cancers-of-the-uterus-spread-by-gynecologists-stop-morcellating-the-uterus-in-minimally-invasive-hysterectomy; 

A video of the morcellation procedure is available on the Change.org website.

ABC News on Surgical Procedure

ABC Newshttp://abcnews.go.com/Health/boston-hospitals-review-surgical-procedure-cancer-debate/story?id=21268456;

Peritoneal dissemination complicating morcellation of uterine mesenchymal neoplasms, Nov. 26, 2012, PLoS

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23189178

 

 

4 Comments

  1. My mesh surgery changed my life.from great to a nightmare’hell within in bed do. Othing the old me done,don’t like me in pain lost so much ,I don’t won’t to wake up anymore I have a ,of to live for can’t enjoy any of it get this monster out of me ‘u can’t ask for it to be took out ‘it don’t work that way ,how long will it take to be compinsaited orwill iI be.is my reward just suffer till I can’t stand it anymore ‘I have thought about ending my .I’ve to make the pain stoop’i never hear from my lawyers unless I call ,can’t wait ,long for money to get help with pain ‘help to suffer the rest of my life how could they why didn’t they stop when they saw how. Many were suffering I am more then mad’the pain is more then I can live with ,what will they do when people take there own life to get out of pain and it is the only way out torched manes people won’t it to stop they don’t care how,u can’t put a price on anyone’s life ,a mom grand maw a wife sister look who all suffers,I say better pay fast it could cost more the longer they wait death is hurtful to many’I would love my ,I’ve back tears are all I know now’why?

    • A company paid to cause others pain,my life is not worth ,living anymore,can’t do a thing for my family or myself’eyes swollen from constant tears’how long do mesh patients have to wait for a settlement to get out of pain? Or will the rest of there ,life be pain’how long can a woman in sevear pain wait?I don’t won’t to wake up anymore I use to love my life, I had prolapse an bladder sling’cant take one more day holding on by a thread God have mercy on all mesh pain ,those implanted with

  2. Mary pat says:

    Angela, I saw this painted on the back of a car one day when I was feeling overwhelmed by the pain. I think you need to see it. HOPE. H – hang O – on P – pain E- ends. I was praying for hope and I saw these words. Hang on. Don’t give up.

  3. stopmeshimplants says:

    Dear Angela,

    Please know many of us are thinking about you and are glad that you have reached out to this mesh community to share your thoughts. We can relate to your physical pain and we understand the emotional turmoil this mesh has caused you and your family. Please allow us to help you through this time in your life. We care and you are not in this by yourself. There are thousands of us who want to bring hope to you. Please try to focus on the doctors who are making a difference and who are trying to do the right thing. Please try to focus on the stories of women with positive outcomes and the women who are beginning to feel better. I hope you will continue to stay in touch through this website. WE CARE!

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