Alternative facts and morcellation

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Since the recent black-box warning regarding the use of electromechanical morcellation, there has been a hesitancy to utilize the product and even to perform other types of morcellation by gynecologists. Unfortunately, this Food and Drug Administration action and the continued public criticisms of this procedure are grounded in poor data and faulty reasoning. To truly perform informed consent to patients considering procedures involving morcellation, a thorough review of the facts, not alternative facts, must be communicated.

Recent findings

Misrepresentation of the ethics surrounding this procedure, the role of informed consent and the risks and benefits as determined by evidence-based medicine have led to confusion and poor public policy. Today's evidence suggests that the procedure is indeed ethical when full disclosure of the risks and benefits is presented via informed consent. Risks of the procedure have been exaggerated significantly, and little attention has been paid to the risks of denying morcellation procedures to patients. Attempts to condemn gynecologists as acting contrary to established surgical principles do not coincide with facts.

Summary

Morcellation is a controversial technique which undoubtedly has a role as well as limitations. To appropriately determine if the procedure is indicated and acceptable to the patient, full disclosure of the best available evidence is necessary.

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