A device used during minimally invasive hysterectomies known as a laparoscopic power morcellator is alleged in lawsuits to spread undetected cancerous tissue throughout the body. Affected women and their families may be eligible to file an Arkansas morcellator cancer lawsuit and pursue compensation for injuries associated with these surgical devices.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Arkansas today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Important: The time you have to pursue a claim is limited. Contact us for more information.
What is a Power Morcellator and How Does It Work?
Laparoscopic power morcellators are medical devices used in minimally invasive surgical procedures such as hysterectomies and myomectomies to remove the uterus or uterine fibroids. Similar to a drill with sharp blades attached to the end, power morcellators allow surgeons to cut up the uterus into smaller pieces in order to remove the tissue through small incisions in the abdomen.
FDA Safety Communication
In November 2014, the U. S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) issued an update to a previous warning in April of that year estimating that approximately 1 in 350 women who undergo hysterectomy or myomectomy is found to have sarcoma, a certain type of uterine cancer. Healthcare providers and patients are strongly urged to seek available alternative treatment options for the removal uterine fibroids.
In their communication, the FDA states the following:
- There is a greater risk than previously suspected that power morcellation will spread cancerous tissue throughout the abdomen and pelvis if the procedure is performed in women with undetected uterine sarcoma.
- Because of the availability of alternative surgical options for most women, the FDA warns against the use of power morcellation in women undergoing hysterectomy or myomectomy.
- As part of the FDA guidance, procedures involving morcellators should be limited, the risk of unsuspected cancer should be strongly warned, and doctors should share this information with their patients. Manufacturers are strongly urged to include this new information on their product labels.
Power Morcellator Cancer Risks
When used for hysterectomy or myomectomy, laparoscopic power morcellation poses a risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue, specifically uterine sarcomas, beyond the uterus to other organs in the body. For many women, they may choose to undergo a hysterectomy or myomectomy because these minimally invasive procedures are typically associated with shorter post-operative recovery times and reduced risk of infection compared to traditional abdominal hysterectomy or myomectomy.
Although power morcellators have been used for decades, there are a number of alternative treatment options available. There is a limited understanding of the short-term and long-term consequences of morcellation, and other treatment options are available such as laparoscopic surgery without morcellation, minilaparotomy (using a smaller incision), and high-intensity focused ultrasound. Additional concerns regarding injury to other organs such as the bowels, bladder, ureters, pancreas, spleen, and major vascular structures have been questioned. Long-term issues may include parasitic growth, causing adhesions, bowel dysfunction, and unrecognized cancer.
Power Morcellator Recall
As a result of the FDA’s warning in 2014, Johnson & Johnson called for doctors and hospitals worldwide to cease using power morcellators and return the devices due to the risk of spreading undetected cancerous tissue to other parts of the body.
In a report from the Wall Street Journal in May 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated what Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the surgical device, knew about the risks involved when power morcellators were used to treat uterine fibroids. A former pathologist was interviewed by the Journal after he was concerned about several issues involving the device, including the potential for an undetected cancer to be inadvertently spread by the surgical instrument. In November 2014, the Wall Street Journal had previously reported on the continued use of the devices even after questions regarding the safety of the device had been brought to the attention of doctors at a prominent hospital in Boston.
How an Arkansas Morcellator Cancer Lawsuit Can Help
Medical device makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their devices, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a device maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who are injured by a power morcellator may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- The permanency of the injury
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a patient dies from complications related to a defective power morcellator, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Patients who have suffered severe complications from a power morcellator, as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the device, are encouraged to seek the advice of an Arkansas morcellator cancer lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after a power morcellator procedure contact Attorney Group for Arkansas for more information. You can fill out the form on this page, call us at the number listed at the top of the page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you contact us, an attorney will follow up with you to speak with you about your case or answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.
See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information, and contact Attorney Group for Arkansas today.