While most people might not realize it, a debate has been raging between the Food and Drug Administration and certain sections of the U.S. medical community over the ongoing use of a medical device that the agency claims can be linked to an increased cancer risk. The medical device in question is a power morcellator, which for the uninitiated is a surgical instrument that is designed to cut up larger pieces of tissue inside the body for extraction via smaller laparoscopic incisions. The device is frequently utilized by OB/GYNs during hysterectomies or surgical procedures to remove uterine fibroids. Back in April, the FDA began discouraging OB/GYNs from using power morcellators, arguing that the devices can actually serve to spread previously undetected cancerous cells.
In the late 1990s, medical device manufacturers began marketing a new product to surgeons that they said represented a significant step-up from traditional surgery in that it offered improved patient safety and altogether better outcomes.
We rely on medical professionals to provide us with the best possible care in order to ensure that we live long and healthy lives. We also rely on medical device manufacturers to build products that are both safe and reliable in order to ensure the exact same result.
There is perhaps nothing more frightening for people than the prospect of having to undergo some type of surgical procedure to implant a medical device. However, those frightened of the operating room often find comfort in the thought that the medical device being implanted into their body has been rigorously tested and is otherwise perfectly safe.