Indications for morcellation in gynecologic surgery

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Feb;30(1):75-80. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000427.


Purpose of review: Minimally invasive gynecologic procedures, in particular laparoscopic hysterectomy and myomectomy, often require tissue morcellation.

Recent findings: Whether morcellated or not, myometrial cells can be found in the abdomen and pelvis after either laparoscopic or open myomectomy. Following morcellation, careful inspection for and removal of tissue fragments and copious irrigation and suctioning of fluid can remove residual tissue and cells without the use of containment bags. The dogma of not 'cutting-through' cancer is not correct for many surgical specialties and irrelevant with regards to leiomyosarcoma (LMS) and minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. Eliminating residual disease in the pelvis and abdomen should be the goal of myomectomy or hysterectomy.

Summary: Morcellation of excised tissue is necessary for many women with symptomatic fibroids who choose to undergo laparoscopic myomectomy or hysterectomy. LMS is an uncommon disease, with a poor prognosis due to early hematogenous metastasis to lung, bone and liver. Preoperatively, it is often difficult to differentiate from benign fibroids. LMS has a high propensity for local recurrence despite performance of total hysterectomy. Efforts to remove all tissue and cells from the pelvis and abdomen should be the goal of minimally invasive surgery with morcellation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraindications, Procedure*
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / diagnosis
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / pathology
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / prevention & control
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / adverse effects
  • Hysterectomy / instrumentation*
  • Intraoperative Complications / etiology
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects
  • Leiomyoma / pathology
  • Leiomyoma / surgery*
  • Leiomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Leiomyosarcoma / prevention & control
  • Leiomyosarcoma / surgery
  • Morcellation / adverse effects*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control
  • Neoplasm, Residual / prevention & control
  • Patient Safety
  • Tumor Burden
  • Uterine Myomectomy / adverse effects
  • Uterine Myomectomy / instrumentation*