Electric laparoscopic power morcellators are surgical devices used during minimally invasive surgical procedures to cut or mince large masses of uterine tissue from the uterus. However, Tennessee morcellator cancer lawsuit attorneys note serious alleged risks related to the surgical devices involving the spread of cancerous tissues to other organs of the body.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Tennessee 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?
Primarily used during minimally invasive surgeries such as hysterectomy and myomectomy, medical instruments known as laparoscopic power morcellators divide and remove large tissues in the uterus and uterine fibroids. The drill-like device is inserted into the abdominal cavity and small blades at the end of a hollow cylinder cut or mince large pieces of the uterus and uterine fibroids so that those pieces may be removed through small incisions in the abdominal wall.
FDA Safety Communication and Power Morcellation
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 minimally invasive procedures to remove uterine fibroids is discovered to have undetected or undiagnosed uterine sarcoma, a type of uterine cancer. If laparoscopic power morcellation is used to treat women with unsuspected uterine sarcoma, there is a potential risk that the procedure could spread cancerous tissues to other organs in the body.
In their communication, the FDA warned health providers to discourage the use of power morcellators in hysterectomy and myomectomy, refrain from using the devices in women with suspected or known uterine cancer, and consider all alternative treatment options for women with uterine fibroids.
Power Morcellator Cancer Risks
Laparoscopic surgical procedures that utilize power morcellators often have a lower risk of surgical site infection, less blood loss, less post-operative pain, and quicker recovery time compared to traditional surgical methods. Although power morcellators have been used in hysterectomies and myomectomies for many years, the practice of morcellation has been associated with an elevated risk of spreading potentially cancerous tissue throughout the abdominal cavity.
Although the use of power morcellators in laparoscopic hysterectomies is less invasive and results in shorter 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 quickly called for doctors and hospitals worldwide to halt using power morcellators and return the surgical devices due to the risk of spreading unsuspected cancer to other organs in the body. According to American Recall Center, Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson and major manufacturer of power morcellators, withdrew the surgical devices from the market, noting 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 several health officials at a well-known medical facility in Boston.
How a Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee today.