A Virginia morcellator cancer lawsuit may be an option for patients diagnosed with certain types of cancer after a power morcellator procedure. Laparoscopic power morcellators, primarily used to divide and remove non-cancerous tissue during minimally invasive hysterectomies, could potentially spread unsuspected cancerous tissue to other organs and parts of the body. Affected women and their families may be eligible to file a Virginia morcellator cancer lawsuit and pursue compensation for injuries related to these surgical devices.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Virginia. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a case we can connect you with an affiliated Morcellator cancer lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Uterine Fibroids and Removal
Although uterine fibroids are masses caused by the division of cells, they rarely become cancerous, according to the Mayo Clinic. They occur in up to 75 percent of women, and they may grow, shrink and disappear without ever creating symptoms. However, they may also lead to problems with urination or constipation, pain, or long or heavy menstrual periods. There are many methods of treating fibroids, including laparoscopic surgery.
The American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL) explains that this type of minimally invasive gynecologic procedure has been proven beneficial. When a woman needs more tissue removed than will fit through the small incisions, though, the doctor may need to morcellate the specimens. This involves cutting the tissue, which can be done with a scalpel or with a medical tool designed for this purpose, known as an electromechnical morcellation device.
Electromechanical Morcellator Risks
The AAGL points out that electromechanical morcellators were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1995. However, risks associated with the devices when used on patients who have undiagnosed cancer were not discovered until years later.
Cancerous tissue within fibroids is difficult to identify, and medical professionals have recognized that morcellation creates further difficulties. When uterine cancer is fragmented, it is not as easily evaluated. Morcellation may also spread the cancer cells throughout the area and lead to a lower chance of survival of the disease. Undiagnosed uterine cancer may affect roughly one out of every 350 patients having fibroids removed.
Because of the risks associated with power morcellators that have been discovered after the FDA issued its approval, the agency states that it now requires new safety warnings on the labels of electromechanical morcellators. Doctors may not recommend this type of procedure after considering the additional health risks to most patients.
Recalls and Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits
Experts believe that laparoscopic power morcellators were used to perform approximately 60,000 procedures per year before the FDA warning, according to CBS News. The top manufacturer of these medical devices was a Johnson & Johnson division, Ethicon. Although other companies are still marketing this type of product, Ethicon stopped producing the morcellators and pulled them from the market, as well as warning doctors against their use.
The question that has led the FBI to begin investigating the situation is how long before the recall Johnson & Johnson discovered the safety issues. A climbing number of lawsuits in Virginia and elsewhere in the United States claim that the company knew of the dangers, but was negligent and promoted the medical device fraudulently. Product liability actions and wrongful death litigation have been filed after reports of a particularly aggressive cancer known as leiomyosarcoma was being linked to power morcellator procedures. Other uterine cancers have also allegedly been spread by the device, including endometrial stromal sarcoma.
How a Virginia Morcellator Cancer Lawsuit Can Help
Medical device makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, 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.
People injured by defective medical devices may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Virginia. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to 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 or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.