Towards spill-free in-bag morcellation: a health failure mode and effects analysis

Lukas van Den Haak, Anne C. van der Eijk, Evelien M. Sandberg, Gerard Peter G.M. Frank, Karin Ansink, Rob C.M. Pelger, Cor D. de Kroon, Frank Willem Jansen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Background: To assess potential risks of new surgical procedures and devices before their introduction into daily practice, a prospective risk inventory (PRI) is a required step. This study assesses the applicability of the Health Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (HFMEA) as part of a PRI of new technology in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. Methods: A reference case was defined of a patient with presumed benign leiomyoma undergoing a laparoscopic hysterectomy or myomectomy including in-bag power morcellation; however, pathology defined a stage I uterine leiomyosarcoma. Using in-bag morcellation as a template, a HFMEA was performed. All steps of the in-bag morcellation technique were identified. Next, the possible hazards of these steps were explored and possible measures to control these hazards were discussed. Results: Five main steps of the morcellation process were identified. For retrieval bags without openings to accommodate instruments inside the bag, 120 risks were identified. Of these risks, 67 should be eliminated. For containment bags with openings 131 risks were identified of which 68 should be eliminated. Of the 10 causes most at risk to cause spillage, two can be eliminated by using appropriate bag materials. Myomectomy appears to be more at risk for residual tissue spillage compared to total hysterectomy. Conclusion: The HFMEA has provided important new insights regarding potential weaknesses of the in-bag morcellation technique, particularly with respect to hazardous steps in the morcellation process as well as requirements that bags should meet. As such, this study has shown HFMEA to be a valuable method that identifies and quantifies potential hazards of new technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4357-4362
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Hysterectomy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Morcellation
  • Myomectomy
  • Sarcoma


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