Laparoscopic Assisted Supracervical Hysterectomy (LASH) Utilizing Morcellators is Alleged to Cause the Spread of Infection and Other Complications
In a recently filed lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, a woman and her husband have alleged that the Richard Wolf Medical Instruments Corporation is responsible for the development of metastatic leiomyosarcoma cancer after the patient underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy. The case alleges that the product was defective. Several hysterectomy cancer lawsuits have also been filed against other manufacturers of the power morcellators. The power morcellators are medical devices used during laparoscopic procedures to enter the uterus cutting tiny pieces that can be removed in this minimally invasive surgery.
However, it is known now that these power morcellators can cause devastating injuries. The use of the power morcellators has been associated with cancer spread throughout the abdomen, pelvis and surrounding organs. If left undiagnosed, the consequences are devastating.
In this federal lawsuit, the Wolf Power Morcellator was used in a 2012 hysterectomy procedure. The lawsuit alleged that the doctors doing the surgery did not know that the patient’s uterus contained the leiomyosarcoma which eventually spread through her abdominal cavity.
Not long after the hysterectomy, the patient was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. The lawsuit alleged negligence, strict tort liability, breach of warranty and fraud. The laparoscopic-assisted procedure is designed to remove uterine fibroids. The benefits were that the surgery would be minimally invasive. The power morcellators are used to cut the uterus and fibroids into small pieces and then remove it through the small opening that the surgeons make. However, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public safety communication that urged doctors to avoid using the power morcellators for fibroid removal. The FDA warned doctors because of reports of patients with leiomyosarcoma and other uterine cancers spreading to other organs. The FDA reported that one out every 350 women who underwent the laparoscopic hysterectomy or the uterine fibroid removal was left undiagnosed with cancer sarcoma cells.
The FDA warned that the use of the power morcellator would drastically increase the prospect of spreading cancer and thus reducing the chance of survival. Women who have been affected by the power morcellators in hysterectomy surgeries claimed that the manufacturers provided less than adequate warnings and chose not to make the devices safe for use. Johnson & Johnson is the parent corporation to its subsidiary Ethicon which makes the Wolf Power Morcellator. After the FDA warnings were made known, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary stopped selling the power morcellators. Studies are ongoing as to how to make the devices safe for future use.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a medical device defect such as the power morcellator, please call us for an immediate free consultation.
Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical device defect injury cases. Kreisman Law Offices has prevailed in trials and settlements in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding communities and has successfully resolved cases for those injured because of medical device defects.
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