Insurance carriers are discontinuing coverage of hysterectomies performed with a morcellator. The action comes in response to a warning issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2014 about morcellation and cancer cells being spread in the body.
Laparoscopic power morcellators are bladed-tools that that chop the uterus into tiny fragments to be removed through a small laparoscopic incision. If the uterus contains undetected cancer cells, morcellation could spread and upstage the cancer. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), one in 368 women has undetected uterine cancer that could be spread by morcellation.
Following the study, Ethicon issued a worldwide withdrawal from the market, as opposed to announcing an Ethicon morcellator recall.