Intracorporeal electromechanical tissue morcellation: A critical review and recommendations for clinical practice

Kimberly A. Kho, Ted L. Anderson, Ceana H. Nezhat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Electromechanical morcellators have come under scrutiny with concerns about complications involving iatrogenic dissemination of both benign and malignant tissues. Although the rapidly rotating blade has resulted in morcellator-related vascular and visceral injuries, equally concerning are the multiple reports in the literature demonstrating seeding of the abdominal cavity with tissue fragmented such as leiomyomas, endometriosis, adenomyosis, splenic and ovarian tissues, and occult cancers of the ovaries and uterus. Alternatives to intracorporeal electric morcellation for tissue extirpation through the vagina and through minilaparotomy are feasible, safe, and have been shown to have comparable, if not superior, outcomes without an increased need for laparotomy. Intracorporeal morcellation within a containment bag is another option to minimize the risk of iatrogenic tissue seeding. Patient safety is a priority with balanced goals of maximizing benefits and minimizing harm. When intracorporeal electromechanical morcellation is planned, physicians should discuss the risks and consequences with their patients. Although data are being collected to quantify and understand these risks more clearly, a minimally invasive alternative to unenclosed intracorporeal morcellation is favored when available. It is incumbent on surgeons to communicate the risks of practices and devices and to advocate for continued improvement in surgical instrumentation and techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-793
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 10 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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