Power morcellation is a medical device that is used during laparoscopy procedures. Morcellation is when the tissues are divided into small fragments. A power morcellation works in breaking up the fibroid into small pieces with a fast rotating blade. The pieces are removed in a small opening created by the laparoscope. Every year, about 50,000 laparoscopic surgeries will take place to remove uterine fibroids. Some of these fibroids may be non-cancerous, but many of these fibroids are cancerous, which is why power morcellation can be a risk to women who have uterine sarcoma; a cancer that is hard to detect and aggressive. The power morcellation can cause the cancerous tissues to spread.
In fact, the FDA warned physicians about not using power morcellation for women who would be performing a myomectomy or hysterectomy to treat the fibroids because detecting whether the woman had uterine sarcoma is difficult to determine due to the unreliable methods in predicting this type of cancer. The FDA Advised healthcare professionals to use another method to treat the fibroids. Injury from power morcellation lawyers advises anyone who has been injured due to a power morcellation to learn about their legal options and how a product liability claim can be filed against the company of the power morcellation.
Learning that an individual has to undergo a surgery is stressful enough, having the added stress that an injury may come from not only the surgery but the device being used, is frightful. No medical device should be sold until the manufacturers have made sure that there will be no complications deriving from it, and if there are, that they immediately know which symptoms to tell the consumers to watch out for.
How Can Power Morcellators Hurt You?
The main way that a power morcellator can harm a patient is by spreading an undiagnosed uterine cancer. Not only is this dangerous, but it decreases the chances that the woman will survive her uterine cancer. Any malignancy that is present in the uterus can be spread through the abdominal cavity. So, a woman who does not know that she has uterine cancer is at a great risk when using a power morcellator.
The Federal Drug Administration issued a safety communication in April 2014 warning how the product could spread cancerous tissue within other areas of the body like the pelvis and abdomen. Following the warning, Johnson and Johnson recalled their power morcellators in July 2014.
Any person who suspects that a power morcellator caused their undiagnosed uterine cancer to spread or worsen needs to speak with a faulty medical device lawyer that will be able to investigate how the device harmed them and what actions can be taken against the manufacturing company.
FAQS Concerning Power Morcellation
Question: What are the dangers associated with Power Morcellation?
Answer: Power morcellation has been linked with the spreading of cancerous tissues in other areas of the body. A woman who does not know that she has uterine cancer is at a great risk for reduced survivability rate.
Question: Why is Power Morcellation performed?
Answer: Power morcellation is performed either with myomectomy or hysterectomy, which are procedures done to treat and remove uterine fibroids. These procedures can be performed without power morcellation which reduces the amount of risk. Signs of uterine fibroids include frequent urination, pelvic pressure, and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Question: When were FDA warnings issued for Power Morcellators?
Answer: There were two warnings issued by the FDA concerning Power Morcellators. One in April 2014, and one in November 2014. The first warning was to advise physicians to not use power morcellation during the treatment of uterine fibroids in cases where cancer may be suspected. The second warning was to inform the population of such risks by implementing a black box warning on the packages.
Question: Was there any recalls for Power Morcellators?
Answer: The FDA did not send out any recalls but once they sent out their warnings, one manufacturer, Johnson&Johnson, recalled their product in 2014.
Power Morcellation and Cancer Data
- Removal of fibroids and hysterectomies are the most common procedures that women undergo
- By the age a woman is 70, one out of three will have had a hysterectomy
- A study concluded that out of every 352 women that undergo uterine fibroid treatment has undiagnosed sarcoma and out of 498 women, one will have undiagnosed leiomyosarcoma
- A patient has an expected lifespan of two to three years after using a power morcellation with undiagnosed sarcoma
- The chances of a woman dying from uterine sarcoma are increased four times after she’s undergone a morcellation procedure
- 85% of women who have stage 4 leiomyosarcoma will die within five years
- Over 50,000 procedures involving power morcellation have been performed since the FDA’s approval in 1993
Power Morcellation Cases
There are many cases currently being reviewed for power morcellation injuries, but not many settlements have been made because it is pretty recent. Here is one case of a fatality:
A settlement was made in 2015 on behalf of Scott Burkhart’s deceased wife, Donna. Donna underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy with power morcellation in March 2013 to treat the excessive bleeding that she was having due to uterine fibroids. 11 months after the surgery, Donna died from Advanced leiomyosarcoma, which was diagnosed after her surgery. Her husband, Scott, claimed that the power morcellation caused her cancer to escalate and there were no warnings or information about the risks associated with it. The settlement amount was not publicly made, but her husband was glad that the case did not make it to trial because the purpose of him filing a lawsuit was to make others aware of the dangers.
Further Harmed by Power Morcellation During Your Procedure?
Power Morcellation is used during the procedures to remove uterine fibroids but is not needed. While it may remove the fibroids, a woman who has an undiagnosed uterine cancer may have their condition worsen or it may even spread to additional areas in the body. If a victim of a defective power morcellation believes that it caused them to develop or have their current cancer get worse, will need to speak with a faulty medical equipment injury lawyer from Percy Martinez Law Firm and seek justice with their help. If unsure, they offer a free consultation.
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