For decades, patients have undergone a hysterectomy or myomectomy in which a power morcellator was used to remove the uterus and uterine fibroids. However, lawsuits allege that cancerous tissue may be spread throughout the rest of the body during the removal process. Affected women and their families may be eligible to file a Kansas morcellator cancer lawsuit and pursue compensation for injuries related to the use of a power morcellator.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Kansas 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.
What is a Power Morcellator and How Does It Work?
Laparoscopic power morcellators are electric surgical instruments used to cut or mince large chunks of tissue into smaller pieces. The process is also called morcellation. Doctors use the drill-like device in minimally invasive procedures such as laparoscopic hysterectomies and myomectomies to remove the uterus and uterine fibroids. Power morcellators allow doctors to make smaller cuts in the abdominal muscles to remove the fibroids, resulting in smaller incisions and quicker recoveries.
FDA Safety Communication and Power Morcellator Recall
In April 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned physicians and healthcare providers to discontinue using power morcellators for the removal of uterine fibroids during hysterectomies and myomectomies. The FDA noted that approximately 1 in 350 women who undergo such procedures to remove uterine fibroid is found to have sarcoma, a type of uterine cancer.
Healthcare providers and patients are strongly urged to seek available alternative treatment options for the removal uterine fibroids. In the report, the FDA stated that there is a greater risk of the spread of cancerous tissue throughout the abdomen in women with undetected uterine sarcoma. The report also recommended that physicians avoid using power morcellators and share information regarding the devices with their patients.
As a result of the growing amount of evidence linking power morcellation and cancer, Johnson & Johnson immediately removed three laparoscopic power morcellators from hospitals worldwide.
Power Morcellator Risks
When compared to traditional surgical abdominal hysterectomies, laparoscopic surgical procedures often have a lower risk of surgical site infection and quicker return to full activities. Although power morcellators have been used regularly for many years, power morcellation is associated with an increased risk of spreading potentially cancerous tissue throughout the abdominal cavity. Concerns regarding injury to other organs such as the bowels, ureters, pancreas, and major vascular structures have been raised.
Other serious risks associated with power morcellator surgical procedures include:
- In some cases, failed extraction of the target tissue
- Inadequate diagnoses of patient risk if a portion of the missed target tissue was cancerous,
- The disruption of large tissue had the potential to be spread to other areas of the abdomen and body
Power Morcellator Cancer Risks
According to the FDA, if laparoscopic power morcellators are used to treat women with unsuspected or undetected uterine cancer, there is a risk that the surgical procedure will cause the cancerous tissue to spread within the abdomen and pelvis, significantly compounding the likelihood of the patient’s long-term survival. Because there is no reliable way to predict whether a woman with fibroids may have a uterine sarcoma, the FDA discourages the use of power morcellation during hysterectomies and myomectomies.
In May 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was investigating what Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the devices, knew regarding possible dangers related to the use of power morcellators in minimally invasive surgical procedures and the spread of certain uterine cancers. Reports from the investigation included interviews with members of the medical community who were concerned with the potential for undetected cancers to spread to other parts of the body because of the surgical tool.
How a Kansas 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 a Kansas 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 Kansas 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 [email protected].
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 Kansas today.