The power morcellator, a surgical device popular for use in minimally invasive procedures for hysterectomies and the removal of uterine fibroids, had appealing qualities for surgeons and patients. It is used during laparoscopic or robotic assisted operations that can be performed in less time, require only small incisions—about 2 centimeters—and involve less pain, a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery. Unfortunately, the procedure poses a dangerous risk of spreading undetected cancer cells.
According to the FDA, about 1 in 350 women who undergo hysterectomy or surgery for uterine fibroids have an unsuspected, undetectable type of uterine cancer called uterine sarcoma or leiomyosarcoma. If laparoscopic power morcellation is performed in these women, there is a risk that the procedure will spread the cancerous tissue within the abdomen and pelvis, rapidly advancing the cancer.
Johnson & Johnson, which represents a majority of the market for the power morcellators, originally stood by the device but later suspended sales of its product, and more recently asked hospitals to return the devices through a "worldwide market withdraw."
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced, in April 2014, that it discourages the use of laparoscopic power morcellation for hysterectomy or removal of uterine fibroids due to reports that it may spread cancer cells.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with uterine or abdominal cancer after a hysterectomy or surgery to remove uterine fibroids, you may be entitled to money damages. Call Burg Simpson now at (800) 597-5418. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day. We'll give you a free, no-obligation case evaluation to determine whether you may be eligible for compensation.