The use of a power morcellator in laparoscopic hysterectomy or fibroid removal procedures may lead to the spread of uterine sarcoma, a strain of cancer that is often incurable and can significantly shorten a woman’s lifespan. The incorporation of this surgical tool, which is used to remove large masses of tissue during the above procedures, consists of a hollow cylinder and sharp edges that shred uterine tissue and fibroids. Given the suggestion that power morcellators may cause uterine sarcomas and Leiomyosarcoma (LMS), a rare and deadly type of malignant smooth muscle tumor to spread, a growing number of lawsuits over the devices are being filed on behalf of women and their families. Contact an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP today to find out more about risks that may be associated with power morcellators, which have become a pressing subject of concern by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Firm can be reached directly via the following toll-free number: .
Uterine sarcomas are categorized by a group of cancerous tumors that develop out of uterine tissue and can allegedly be spread to the other parts of the body via power morcellators. Manufactured by the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ethicon and other companies, this type of surgical tool was involved in a public health alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 17th, 2014 that discouraged doctors from using them in laparoscopic hysterectomies and fibroid removals. 1 in 350 women who undergo a fibroid removal may suffer from undiagnosed uterine sarcoma, said the federal agency, which also noted in its review that power morcellators may increase the risk for undetected cancer cells to spread outside the uterus and into the pelvis and abdomen. In turn, the patient’s long-term survival rate may be further diminished, the FDA said.
Following this public health warning, Ethicon ceased sales of the following power morcellators:
In its decision to stop selling, distributing and promoting these products, the company maintains that they are safe and effective, and that officials are awaiting further FDA clarification of their use in fibroid removal surgeries.
Ethicon has already been named in a leiomysarcoma lawsuit over its power morcellators, however. Filed in March 2014, the case involves 53-year old woman whose undiagnosed cancer allegedly spread outside her uterus and into other parts of the body. According to claims, she died less than a year after undergoing a morcellator-aided hysterectomy. Lawyers allege that she was inadequately warned about the association between power morcellators and cancer prior to her initial procedure.
Other health organizations have raised concerns about power morcellators in the wake of the FDA’s alert in April. On May 8, 2014, the former American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists issued guidelines that acknowledged the spread of uterine sarcoma and leiomysarcoma due to power morcellators used in fibroid removal and hysterectomy operations.
If you or a woman you love was diagnosed with uterine sarcoma, leimysarcoma or another type of cancer following a laparoscopic hysterectomy or fibroid removal procedure using a power morcellator, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Call our Firm today at .