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How Morcellators Simplified the Hysterectomy but Posed a Hidden Cancer Risk

The women's health-care community got a shock to the system in December, when leading U.S. hospitals abruptly began acknowledging that a commonly used surgical tool risked killing some women.

The tool, used since the 1990s in many hysterectomies, can stir up aggressive cancers, they said. Brigham and Women's Hospital, Temple University Hospital and others quickly altered their procedures for the tool's use. The Food and Drug Administration has begun a probe of its risks.

Yet there were hints of the tool's potentially fatal flaw going back to its early years. Doctors use the device, called a power morcellator, through tiny incisions to cut into, or "morcellate," the uterus and…

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Last Updated : Sunday, December 22, 2019