Power Morcellators Can Spread Uterine Cancer
Posted on behalf of Arnold Law Firm on Nov 17, 2014 in Defective Healthcare Products
Increasing evidence has demonstrated that hysterectomies or uterine fibroid removal surgeries where a doctor uses a power morcellator may increase the risk of cancer.
Patients who have developed cancer in the pelvic region after undergoing laparoscopic power morcellation surgeries have been suing pharmaceutical companies for failing to warn both patients and doctors about the cancer-spreading dangers of such surgeries.
In the spring of 2014, the Food and Drug Administration released a safety announcement discouraging doctors and hospitals from conducting further power morcellation surgeries due to the risk of spreading uterine cancer throughout the pelvis.
The FDA estimates that out of the thousands of women who undergo the procedure each year, 1 in every 350 women has an undiagnosed uterine cancer. The spread of uterine cancer has caused severe injuries and many fatalities.
How Do Power Morcellators Spread Cancer?
Power morcellators were developed as an alternative to traditional surgeries where a hysterectomy or uterine fibroid removal process would require long incisions into the abdomen so that the uterus could be removed intact. The process required a prolonged hospital recovery and was considered a major surgery because of the risk of infection.
Laparoscopic power morcellators, on the other hand, permit surgeons to use small incisions in the abdomen to cut the uterus into tiny pieces before extracting them though the laparoscopic tube. While the laparoscopic surgery is less invasive than the traditional methods, it is increasingly suspected to spread cancer in women who have undiagnosed cancers in the uterus.
When the cancerous tissue in undiagnosed patients is cut into tiny pieces and removed through the abdomen, surgeons may inadvertently spread cancerous tissue throughout the abdomen and pelvic regions.
Symptoms of uterine cancer include:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Pain during bathroom trips
Unfortunately, uterine cancer that has spread is more difficult to treat and far more aggressive. For these reasons, companies that produce laparoscopic more morcellators, including Johnson & Johnson, have quickly pulled them off the market.
Unfortunately, while many hospitals and companies have taken steps to follow the FDA's recommendations, other companies and hospitals are continuing these surgeries. Women who have been harmed deserve justice.
How A Uterine Cancer Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one received laparoscopic morcellation surgery and was subsequently diagnosed with uterine cancer, contact our Sacramento personal injury attorneys immediately.