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FDA toughens warning that morcellator procedure can spread cancer

Power morcellation involves inserting a small electric device into the abdomen and slicing up tissue in order to remove it through a small incision. It has long been used to remove fibroid tumors from the uterus, or to remove the uterus itself, and is far less invasive than traditional abdominal operations. Foto: AP/Steven Senne

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strengthened its warnings Monday against the use of a controversial uterine surgical technique, recommending that doctors avoid using laparoscopic power morcellators to remove uterine growths in the vast majority of women because of the risk of spreading hidden cancers.

The agency said it will ask manufacturers to place "boxed" warnings on the devices — the strongest type of labeling a product can have while remaining on the market. The warnings, which come seven months after the FDA first recommended against the widespread use of the procedure, would inform patients that using power morcellators to remove uterine growths could unwittingly spread cancer inside their bodies and decrease the odds of long-term survival...

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