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Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1650
THE DESTINY OF MYOMAS
Hans A. BRÖLMANN 1, Ornella SIZZI 2, Wouter J. HEHENKAMP 1, Alfonso ROSSETTI 2
1 Department of Gynecology, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 2 Private Oractitioner, Studio Medico Alfa, Rome, Italy
Uterine leiomyoma is a highly prevalent benign gynecologic neoplasm that affects women of reproductive age. Surgical procedures commonly employed to treat symptomatic uterine fibroids include myomectomy or total or sub-total hysterectomy. These procedures, when performed using minimally invasive techniques, reduce the risks of intraoperative and postoperative morbidity and mortality; however, in order to remove bulky lesions from the abdominal cavity through laparoscopic ports, a laparoscopic power morcellator must be used, a device with rapidly spinning blades to cut the uterine tissue into fragments so that it can be removed through a small incision. Although the minimal invasive approach in gynecological surgery has been firmly established now in terms of recovery and quality of life, morcellation is associated with rare but sometimes serious adverse events. Parts of the morcellated specimen may be spread into the abdominal cavity and enable implantation of cells on the peritoneum. In case of unexpected sarcoma the dissemination may upstage disease and affect survival. Myoma cells may give rise to ‘parasitic’ fibroids, but also implantation of adenomyotic cells and endometriosis has been reported. Finally the morcellation device may cause inadvertent injury to internal structures, such as bowel and vessels, with its rotating circular knife. In this article it is described how to estimate the risk of sarcoma in a presumed fibroid based on epidemiologic, imaging and laboratory data. Furthermore the first literature results of the in-bag morcellation are reviewed. With this procedure the specimen is contained in an insufflated sterile bag while being morcellated, potentially preventing spillage of tissue but also making direct morcellation injuries unlikely to happen.