The incidence of occult malignancy following uterine morcellation: A ten-year single institution experience retrospective cohort study.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Int J Surg


Endoscopic hysterectomy; Occult malignancy; Uterine morcellation; • Adult; Age Factors; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Endoscopy; Female; Humans; Hysterectomy/methods; Incidence; Leiomyosarcoma/epidemiology; Middle Aged; Morcellation/adverse effects; Neoplasms, Unknown; Primary/epidemiology; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; Uterine Neoplasms/epidemiology


INTRODUCTION: When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially reported on the parlous incidence (0.28%) of occult malignancy identified following uterine power morcellation, investigations thereafter documented their particular experience with this surgical procedure. Nevertheless, the precise risk of identifying a sarcoma following uterine morcellation remains indeterminate, primarily due to varying study patient risk factors, diagnostic criteria and operative approach.

METHOD: We retrospectively evaluated subjects who underwent an endoscopic hysterectomy and uterine power morcellation for the treatment of a presumptive, benign indication from January 2006 until December 2015. The primary outcome was the incidence of an occult malignancy. Secondarily, we were interested in characterizing the patients' specific clinical (age, menopausal status, body mass index (BMI)) risk factors within the context of a confirmed malignant or pre-malignant pathology.

RESULTS: We identified 281 patients who underwent endoscopic surgery that incorporated uterine morcellation. During the study period, one subject was ultimately diagnosed with a uterine leiomyosarcoma; the overall incidence of occult malignancy was 0.36%. There were also 3 cases of uterine premalignant disease on final pathology (2 patients had complex hyperplasia with or without atypia and 1 subject was diagnosed with a smooth muscle tumor of uncertain malignant potential (an incidence of 1.1%)). We were unable to establish any relationship between patient age, uterine weight, menopausal status or BMI and the incidence of a malignant or pre-malignant pathology (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The rate of occult malignancy in the present investigation was similar to previously documented studies and that which has been reported by the FDA. Additional study of methods in which to enhance preoperative work-up and mitigate the surgical risk for tumor cell dissemination is warranted.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Women & Children


Obstetrics & Gynecology