A morcellator is a surgical instrument used to complete hysterectomies or remove fibroids in a woman’s uterus. The procedure is called a laparoscopic power morcellation.
To understand the popularity of laparoscopic morcellation procedures, it is important to understand the traditional method used to remove an entire uterus or to remove benign tumors known as fibroids in the uterus.
Before the development of power morcellators, surgeons would cut three to seven inch incisions in a women’s abdomen and remove the entire uterus intact. The depth and length of the incisions often necessitated a longer hospital stay and a more extensive recovery period with increased complications for infections.
Power morcellators were seen as a better alternative because they only required small incisions in the abdomen that allowed surgeons to cut up pieces of the uterus and extract it through the abdomen without creating large incisions.
Power Morcellators: A Dangerous Cancer-Spreading Procedure
As early as 2006, the dangers of power morcellators were discovered by concerned physicians. More recently, a study by Columbia University published in the Journal of the American Medical Association identified the increased cancer risks posed to women.
Researchers found that 1 in 370 women who undergo power morcellation procedures have undiagnosed uterine cancers that can be spread throughout the abdomen. When uterine cancer spreads throughout the abdomen and pelvic region it is more difficult to treat and poses a greater risk of death for women.
FDA Weighs In On Cancer Risks and the Market Responds
On April 17, 2014 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a safety announcement discouraging the use of power morcellators for uterine and fibroid surgeries. Soon after, Johnson and Johnson, the largest provider of power morcellators on the market suspended all sales of morcellators until further notice.Insurance companies have also begun to abandon insurance coverage for power morcellation procedures.
The company also moved to pull all of its morcellators from the market in response to medical studies and the FDA safety announcement.
Cancer Injury Lawyers With Decades of Experience
Peterson & Associates, P.C. power morcellator attorneys have been working with women injured by surgeons, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies who have all failed to reveal the cancer spreading risk of power laparoscopic morcellation procedures.
Thousands of women underwent these procedures and many of their hospital consent forms did not even reveal the risk of cancer spreading.
If you or someone you love has developed cancer after a hysterectomy or uterine fibroid removal surgery, please contact our attorneys today. You need an experienced advocate on your side.