For women undergoing hysterectomies or myomectomies to remove uterine fibroids, use of a medical device known as a morcellator is a commonly recommended treatment option due to its minimally invasive nature. Despite manufacturer assurances of safety, these devices have been linked to the spread of undiagnosed cancerous tissue throughout the body. Affected women and their families may be eligible to file a Michigan morcellator cancer lawsuit and pursue compensation for injuries related to these surgical devices.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Michigan 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 Are Uterine Fibroids?
According to the Mayo Clinic, numerous women will be afflicted with uterine fibroids at some point during their lifetimes. Characterized as non-cancerous growths ranging in size (from fibroids that are visually undetectable to exceedingly large masses capable of increasing the size of one’s uterus), doctors often recommend removal of fibroids to prevent complications from occurring.
While in most cases those developing fibroids will be without symptoms, some women experience significant pain and discomfort as a result. Heavy bleeding during menstruation can also occur, as can issues with one’s bowel or bladder, pain in the pelvic region or back, discomfort during intercourse and spotting between periods.
How Does Morcellation Work?
According to the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, there are a few different morcellation techniques available to medical professionals when offering treatment for uterine fibroids. While in the past surgeons utilized scalpels to remove fibrous tissue, electromechanical morcellation has become an increasingly common treatment because of the decreased invasiveness of the procedure.
Using a device known as a power morcellator, doctors make laparoscopic incisions through which the device is inserted in order to break down uterine tissue into a more manageable size. This is made possible through the device’s blade, which can cut down tissues for easier removal. Some devices also utilize laser technology to break down tissues. Morcellators can be used to perform a total hysterectomy, or they can be used to selectively remove only those tissues affected by fibroid growth.
What Risks Are Associated With These Devices?
Use of morcellators to perform hysterectomies or myomectomies is encouraged due to the diminished recovery period associated with laparoscopic surgeries. However, there is evidence that morcellation devices pose a significant cancer risk in some women. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) details this risk and encourages medical providers to pursue alternative fibroid treatments to best preserve patient safety.
While fibroids are generally non-cancerous, cancerous tissue can be present within the uterus and typically doctors are not aware of the presence of malignant tissue until after the surgery has performed. As a result, morcellated cancerous tissue may be spread throughout the body, which can then go on to cause cancer in the pelvic and abdominal regions. This greatly decreases a patient’s chances for long-term survival, and requires the need for extensive medical treatment to address the newly spread cancerous tissue.
Why Are Some Women Filing Michigan Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits?
In addition to a call for enhanced warning labels to make any inherent risks well-known to both patients and medical providers, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson also elected to withdraw their devices in response to the FDA’s alert (although devices manufactured by other companies remain available for use). These warnings issued by the FDA relating to the use of laparoscopic power morcellators to remove uterine fibroids has led to numerous injured patients seeking compensation from manufacturers.
CBS News also reports on claims that a patient injured by a power morcellator has been questioned by the FBI to determine whether Johnson & Johnson was aware of these risks before the devices were dispensed to the health care community. An estimated 600,000 morcellation procedures were performed every year prior to the voluntary recall being initiated, which may result in many more cases of injured patients.
How a Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan today.