A laparoscopic power morcellator is a surgical device used to mince and remove large amounts of tissue in the uterus. However, Oklahoma morcellator cancer lawsuit attorneys note an alleged association between hysterectomy and myomectomy procedures and the spread of potentially cancerous tissues to other areas of the body.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Oklahoma 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?
A laparoscopic power morcellator is a surgical device used in minimally invasive surgical procedures. These procedures include hysterectomies (removal of the uterus) and myomectomies (removal of uterine fibroids). The surgical device consists of a hollow tube that penetrates the abdominal wall while sharp blades cut large masses of tissue into smaller pieces so that they may be removed through small incisions in the abdomen.
FDA Safety Communication
According to a safety communication released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2014, physicians and healthcare officials were advised to stop using power morcellators to remove uterine fibroids. It was estimated that 1 in 350 women undergoing hysterectomy or myomectomy is found to have unsuspected uterine sarcoma, a type of uterine cancer. Based on an analysis of the available data, the FDA noted that the device could possibly spread undetected cancerous tissues to other parts of the body.
There is no known reliable method to test for cancer in women with uterine fibroids. If the procedure is performed in women with undetected uterine sarcoma, cancerous tissue could spread throughout the abdomen and to other organs in the body. Women who undergo hysterectomy or myomectomy are warned against the use of power morcellation to treat uterine fibroids. Doctors should explain the risk of unsuspected cancer and share the information in the FDA report with their patients, and manufactures should include this new information on their product labels.
Power Morcellator Cancer Risks
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. In those cases, segments of remaining tissue could be still present after morcellation and, if the remaining tissue is cancerous, could result in the spread of uterine cancer to other organs and areas of the body.
When compared to traditional surgical methods, laparoscopic surgical procedures often have a lower risk of surgical infection, less blood loss, less postoperative pain, and quicker return to full activities. Despite the regular use of power morcellators for decades, power morcellation is related to an elevated likelihood of spreading potentially cancerous tissue throughout the abdominal cavity. Concerns regarding injury to other organs such as the pancreas, bowels, ureters, bladder, spleen, and major vascular structures have been raised.
Power Morcellator Recall and Investigation
As a result of the growing amount of evidence linking power morcellation and cancer, Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of the surgical instrument, immediately removed three laparoscopic power morcellators from hospitals worldwide and asked doctors to stop using them in hysterectomies and myomectomies.
In a May 2015 report in the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated what Johnson & Johnson knew about the potential hazards associated with the use of power morcellators and cancer. Several members of the medical community were interviewed, including a former pathologist concerned about the potential for an undetected cancer to be unintentionally spread by the medical device. In a previous report from November 2014, the Wall Street Journal had noted the continued use of the devices even after doctors at a prominent Boston hospital learned about the possible dangers related to the devices.
How an Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma today.