Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop from the muscular tissue of the uterus. Most women will develop uterine fibroids at some point, but most fibroids cause no symptoms. In some cases, however, fibroids can cause symptoms including heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and/or frequent urination, requiring medical therapy or surgery.
Women often choose laparoscopic surgery over traditional abdominal surgery because of the shorter recovery time and reduced risk of infection. However, if there is an unsuspected uterine cancer, the process of breaking up the tissue to remove from the small incision may spread cancerous tissue. Therefore, the FDA is now discouraging the use of laparoscopic power morcellation during hysterectomy and the removal of uterine fibroids and is encouraging doctors and patients to carefully consider alternative treatment options.
 FDA Safety Communication, "Laparoscopic Uterine Power Morcellation in Hysterectomy and Myomectomy: FDA Safety Communication," April 17, 2014.