Laparoscopic power morcellators are surgical instruments used during laparoscopic surgeries to cut or mince large masses of uterine tissue from the uterus. 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 Kentucky morcellator cancer lawsuit and pursue compensation for injuries related to the use of a power morcellator.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Kentucky 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 tools used in minimally invasive surgical procedures such as hysterectomies and myomectomies to remove the uterus or uterine fibroids from the abdomen. Somewhat resembling a drill, power morcellators are equipped with a spinning blade at the end of a hollow tube. The tube is inserted into the abdomen, and the blade cuts or minces the uterus into pieces that can then be extracted through small incisions.
FDA Safety Communication and Power Morcellator
In a safety communication issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2014, the agency estimated that 1 in 350 women undergoing surgical procedures for the removal of uterine fibroids is found to have undetected uterine sarcoma, a type of uterine cancer. If laparoscopic power morcellation is used to treat women with unsuspected uterine sarcoma, there is a risk that the procedure will spread cancerous tissues to other parts of the body.
In their communication, the FDA advised health providers to discourage the use of power morcellators in hysterectomy and myomectomy, avoid using the devices in women with suspected or known uterine cancer, and consider all available treatment options for women with symptomatic uterine fibroids.
Power Morcellator Cancer Risks
Traditional surgical methods used to treat uterine fibroids typically require large incisions, longer time spent in the hospital, and the possibility of long scars, however, laparoscopic surgical procedures that utilize power morcellators often have a lower risk of surgical site infection, less blood loss, less post-operative pain, and shorter recovery time. Although power morcellators have been used in hysterectomies and myomectomies for many years, power morcellation has been associated with an increased risk of spreading potentially cancerous tissue throughout the abdominal cavity.
While the use of power morcellators in laparoscopic hysterectomies is less invasive and result in reduced recovery times, the devices may cause cancerous tissue to spread throughout the body in women with undiagnosed or unsuspected uterine sarcoma. There is no reliable method for predicting whether or not a woman has uterine sarcoma. In some cases, pieces of remaining tissue could be left behind and could result in the spread of cancer to other organs and areas of the body if the remaining tissue is malignant.
Power Morcellator Recall and Investigation
After the FDA issued its safety communication in April 2014, Johnson & Johnson immediately called for doctors and hospitals worldwide to discontinue using power morcellators and return the surgical devices due to the risk of spreading undetected cancer to other organs in the body. Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson and major manufacturer of power morcellators, withdrew the power morcellators from the market, believing that such action was necessary following the FDA’s warning.
In addition to the withdrawal, the Wall Street Journal reported in May 2015 that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated what Johnson & Johnson might have known about the potential dangers related to the use of power morcellators and cancer. In a previous report from November 2014, the Wall Street Journal also noted the possibility of continued use of the surgical devices even after questions concerning the safety of the instrument had been brought to the attention of doctors at a prominent hospital in Boston.
How a Kentucky 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 Kentucky 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 Kentucky 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]roup.com.
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 Kentucky today.