Contained power morcellation within an insufflated isolation bag

Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Sep;124(3):491-497. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000421.


Objective: To describe a technique for contained power morcellation within an insufflated isolation bag at the time of uterine specimen removal during minimally invasive gynecologic procedures.

Methods: Over the study period of January 2013 to April 2014, 73 patients underwent morcellation of the uterus or myomas within an insufflated isolation bag at the time of minimally invasive hysterectomy or myomectomy. This technique involves placing the specimen into a large plastic bag within the abdomen, exteriorizing the opening of the bag, insufflating the bag within the peritoneal cavity, and then using a power morcellator within the bag to remove the specimen in a contained fashion. Procedures were performed at four institutions and included multiport laparoscopy, single-site laparoscopy, multiport robot-assisted laparoscopy, or single-site robot-assisted laparoscopy. Demographic and perioperative characteristics were collected for the cases.

Results: Surgical specimen morcellation within an insufflated isolation bag was successfully used in all cases. The median operative time was 114 minutes (range 32-380 minutes), median estimated blood loss was 50 mL (range 10-500 mL), and the median specimen weight was 257 g (range 53-1,481 g). There were no complications related to the contained morcellation technique nor was there visual evidence of tissue dissemination outside of the isolation bag.

Conclusion: Morcellation within an insufflated isolation bag is a feasible technique. Methods for morcellating uterine tissue in a contained manner may provide an option to minimize the risks of open power morcellation while preserving the benefits of minimally invasive surgery.

Level of evidence: II.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Loss, Surgical
  • Blood Volume
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy* / instrumentation
  • Hysterectomy* / methods
  • Laparoscopy
  • Leiomyoma* / pathology
  • Leiomyoma* / surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Operative Time
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures
  • Specimen Handling* / instrumentation
  • Specimen Handling* / methods
  • Surgical Instruments*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Uterus / surgery