A Washington morcellator cancer lawsuit may be an option if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with 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 Washington morcellator cancer lawsuit and pursue compensation for injuries related to these medical devices.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Washington 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?
Power morcellators are electric medical devices used to divide and remove the uterus or non-cancerous uterine fibroids in minimally invasive surgical procedures such as hysterectomies and myomectomies. Similar to a drill, the instrument is equipped with sharp blades that allow surgeons to cut up the uterus into smaller fragments in order to remove larger pieces of tissue through small incisions in the stomach.
According to WomensHealth.gov, the development of uterine fibroids is not necessarily a momentous occasion, as many women do not experience any problems, and the growths may appear or disappear without cause for concern. Although typically benign and asymptomatic, these tumors may cause significant issues. For example, they may grow large enough to put pressure on other organs, such as the bladder, or they may cause pain and problems with the menstrual cycle.
Some women may opt to have the fibroids removed through surgery. During a myomectomy, the doctor leaves as much of the uterus intact as possible, but the presence of symptomatic fibroids often leads to a complete hysterectomy.
Many of these procedures may be done through minimally invasive laparoscopy. The American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists notes that removing even large fibroids through minimally invasive incisions is possible by breaking up the tissues for removal using an electromechanical morcellator. However, if a woman is at risk for uterine cancer, this method is not recommended.
Cancer Risk Factors
When a cancerous fibroid is morcellated unintentionally, doctors have discovered that the affected tissues may spread and have a negative effect on surrounding areas. A patient’s survival chances could even be reduced. Unfortunately, there are some types of cancer that appear essentially the same as nonmalignant fibroids and may be missed during the process of determining what procedure is appropriate. The discovery of this and other risks has led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reassess the safety of the use of laparoscopic power morcellators in these procedures.
The FDA has issued a safety communication stating that there may be one woman with an undiagnosed malignant fibroid out of every 350 who have them removed via hysterectomy or myomectomy. In view of these statistics, the agency urges doctors to consider options that do not involve laparoscopic power morcellation during these procedures. A new warning has been included with the device information provided to doctors who are considering the risks and benefits of its use for their patients.
Morcellator Recall and Inquiry
CBS News reports that Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division pulled its power morcellators from the market after discovering the increased chances of cancer dissemination and determining that there was no way to mitigate the risk. However, the FBI has been prompted to investigate whether the company may have known about the potential for harm before it took the action, allowing hazardous operations to continue. The number of women that may have been affected could have been significant, as the devices were used in roughly 60,000 operations annually.
Morcellator Lawsuits Filed
Lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson claiming that it did not perform adequate research before placing the device on the market. There have already been enough product liability and wrongful death actions to prompt the federal court system to begin consolidating them in a process known as multidistrict litigation. This method is often used when there are many plaintiffs filing similar cases against a single defendant, and is common in faulty medical device or bad drug cases involving many people.
How a Washington 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.
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 Washington. 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.