[PDF] Technical update on tissue morcellation during gynaecologic surgery : its uses, complications, and risks of unsuspected malignancy

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Publication date:
01 February 2015


Objective: To review the use of tissue morcellation in minimally invasive gynaecological surgery.

Outcomes: Morcellation may be used in gynaecological surgery to allow removal of large uterine specimens, providing women with a minimally invasive surgical option. Adverse oncologic outcomes of tissue morcellation should be mitigated through improved patient selection, preoperative investigations, and novel techniques that minimize tissue dispersion.

Evidence: Published literature was retrieved through searches of PubMed and Medline in the spring of 2014 using appropriate controlled vocabulary (leiomyomsarcoma, uterine neoplasm, uterine myomectomy, hysterectomy) and key words (leiomyoma, endometrial cancer, uterine sarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, morcellation, and MRI). Results were restricted to systematic reviews, randomized control trials/controlled clinical trials, and observational studies. There were no date limits but results were limited to English or French language materials. Searches were updated on a regular basis and incorporated in the guideline to August 2014. Grey (unpublished) literature was identified through searching the websites of health technology assessment and health technology assessmentrelated agencies, clinical practice guideline collections, clinical trial registries, and national and international medical specialty societies.

Values: The quality of evidence in this document was rated using the criteria described in the report of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. (Table 1)   Benefits, harms, and costs: Gynaecologists may offer women minimally invasive surgery and this may involve tissue morcellation and the use of a power morcellator for specimen retrieval. Women should be counselled that in the case of  unexpected uterine sarcoma or endometrial cancer, the use of a morcellator is associated with increased risk of tumour dissemination. Appropriate training and safe practices should be in place before offering tissue morcellation.