Power morcellators are medical devices that are used to treat women who have developed uterine fibroid tumors. The power morcellators are used by doctors in a laparoscopic method whereby they cut up the tumor or the uterus and remove the fibroid tissues through a small incision. The idea behind the surgical method is to reduce recovery time and the risk of infection or other surgical complications.
The dangers associated with the power morcellator are that a risk that the use of the power morcellators spreads uterine cancer. In undergoing the morcellator procedure it has been reported that patients had undiagnosed sarcoma, which the doctors have been unable to detect before the uterine fibroid surgery. The risk of a morcellator is that it may play a part in spreading cancerous tissue throughout the abdomen and pelvis following the attempt to remove the uterine fibroid tumors.
Uterine cancer has been reported to have been spread by doctors unknowingly during laparoscopic cervical hysterectomies, robotic hysterectomies or laparoscopic uterine fibroid removal.
The power morcellator was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1995. Since then the devices and its use has grown recently for use in uterine fibroid removal or hysterectomy procedures for women with uterine fibroids.
The morcellation involves the use of a device with a bladed tube that is inserted through the woman’s abdomen by making a small incision. Then the medical device cuts up parts of the uterus, the uterine fibroids or the entire uterus in the case of hysterectomies. The tissue being removed is taken out through the small incision.
It has been reported that one in 350 women would undergo a hysterectomy with morcellation who have some form of uterine cancer which doctors are unable to predict prior to the surgery. Unfortunately what happens too often is that the cancerous tissue is spread throughout the abdomen and pelvis during the morcellation process that allows for an aggressive cancer to spread rather than be contained had the morcellator not been used. That risk is far too great to continue the use of this product.
Warnings by the FDA were first announced in April 2014. The FDA urged physicians to avoid using morcellators during uterine fibroid tissue removal. Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson has been the largest seller of power morcellators controlling nearly 75% of the market. However, in July 2014, a recall of the power morcellator was made. Johnson & Johnson has since exited the morcellator marketplace because of the risk of cancer associated with its use.
The names of the power morcellators that have been used in recent years include the following:
- Karl Storz Rotocut G1 Morcellator
- Blue Endo MoreSolution Tissue Morcellator
- Ethicon Gynecare Morcellex
Because the manufacturers and marketers of morcellators have been reluctant to warn physicians and patients of the dangers, there are literally thousands of women who have been exposed to the possibility of advanced uterine cancer. The use of the power morcellator by obstetricians, gynecologists and family practice physicians was made popular because the tool was less invasive to grind away and remove fibroid tumors in the uterine. The product was also used for hysterectomies.
If you or someone you know have undergone morcellation during a laparoscopic hysterectomy, robotic hysterectomy or a laparoscopy myomectomy, please call us for an immediate free consultation. A myomectomy surgery is one where fibroids are removed from the uterus.
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 in medical device defect cases.
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