A new device may enable women to safely undergo hysterectomy using minimally invasive surgery despite increased concerns about power morcellation. The FDA recently discouraged use of power morcellation -- in which a device cuts the uterus or uterine fibroids into small pieces for extraction through the small surgical incisions -- following reports that it can spread potentially cancerous tissue throughout the abdominal cavity. The new technique involves inserting an inflatable bag into the surgical opening, inflating the bag within the abdominal cavity and then using a power morcellator within the bag to remove the specimen in a contained manner. In a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, 73 women underwent uterine tissue extraction using laparoscopic surgery with the isolation bag at four facilities from January 2013 to April 2014. The isolation bag was successfully used in all cases, with no complications related to the technique, no visible evidence of escaped tissue and no visual signs of tears to the bag. The isolation bag is an evolving technique, say the authors, which will benefit from further testing and refinement. Read the study.
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