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Hospitals Halt Procedure After Warning

Most Tampa Bay-area hospitals have stopped using a surgical technique after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that the procedure spreads cancer in some women, according to theTampa Bay Times.

For decades, doctors performing hysterectomies shredded tissue with a motorized blade called a morcellator, which allowing cancerous tissue to be removed easily during the laparoscopic surgery.

But the FDA says in rare cases, shredding spreads undetected cancer called uterine sarcoma  by scattering the disease through women’s abdomens. Two University of South Florida researchers are trying to patent a device that would prevent the scattering of this cancerous tissue, the Times reports.

About 44 percent of women, between ages 40 and 49 who have hysterectomies, opt for laparoscopic surgery. The morcellator is used in an estimated minimum of 55,000 cases each year, the Times reports.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.