Low Risk of Uterine Sarcoma Following Hysterectomy
Uterine sarcoma – a potentially aggressive type of cancer that forms in tissues in the uterus – was found in 0.22 % of women following a hysterectomy for benign conditions, a new large-scale study by the University of Michigan departments ofObstetrics and Gynecology, and Surgery finds.
The FDA recently issued new guidelines on power morcellators, an electrical device that is used by surgeons to help with morcellation, after concerns that it could potentially spread unsuspected tumors that appeared as benign fibroids.
“Caution is warranted in preoperative planning for a hysterectomy, but for a significant number of women, a minimally-invasive procedure may still be a very viable and beneficial option.” says senior author Sawsan As-Sanie, M.D., M.P.H, Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the U-M Medical School.
As-Sanie notes vaginal surgery is always the preferred route for benign indications but some women are not candidates for that option. The minimally invasive laparoscopic hysterectomy–which may include morcellation techniques when the uterus is too large to remove from the laparoscopic or vaginal incisions – means smaller incisions, lower risk of infection and blood loss, and quicker recovery than the standard abdominal hysterectomy.
“The ultimate goal in the field is to eventually find more reliable ways to accurately distinguish between benign fibroids and uterine sarcomas,” As-Sanie says. “For now, this data confirms a very low incidence of unexpected uterine sarcoma and is valuable information to inform patients and physicians when considering treatment options for fibroid-related symptoms.”
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