Morcellator is a medical device used in gynecological surgeries and hysterectomies, and it can spread cancer cells. Call Abbott Law Group, P.A. at 877.292.1500 to get a legal help and free case evaluation.
A morcellator is a power-driven, surgical device used by gynecologists during laparoscopic or robotic surgeries to remove large masses of non-cancerous tumors and tissues. Gynecologists use power morcellators when they perform surgeries like hysterectomies or myomectomies. A morcellator is a tiny device with rotating blades that works by dividing the non-cancerous tumors into smaller fragments during the process of removing tumors. The smaller fragments are then vacuumed out of the body. Doctors are able to make smaller incisions with morcellators than those made in a typical surgery, which allow them to complete surgeries without having to make cuts through so many core stomach muscles. There are other added benefits of using a morcellator during surgery like quicker patient recovery time, less of a likelihood of wound complications, and less overall pain for patients.
Though the use of power morcellators is considered as the most suitable way to remove the growth of non-cancerous tumors and tissues during laparoscopic surgery, a new evidence has shown that morcellators are causing more harm than good. More and more patients are coming forward with complications that resulted from the use of morcellators during their surgeries. The main issue with morcellators is that they fail to remove all of the broken up smaller tissue fragments and spread these fragments, which contain cancer cells, to other areas of the body.
In such cases a laparoscopic morcellator becomes a devastating instrument, causing various types of health problems including uterine cancer, metastatic leiomyosarcoma, endometrial stromal sarcoma, uterine sarcoma, harm to healthy tissue, and abnormal growth of tissue. Increasing cases of these health problems have become the main reason for the increasing number of morcellator lawsuits.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article in July 2014 that showed that the rate of undetected cases of uterine cancer caused by the use of power morcellator was 1:370, or 27 out of every 10,000 patients.
The danger of using power morcellators during laparoscopic hysterectomy is obvious based of the statistics provided by JAMA. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not issued a wholesale recall for power morcellators; however, one major company has decided to voluntarily recall its devices from the market. Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of morcellator manufacturer Ethicon, made the decision to recall their morcellators due to the large number of lawsuits being filed for the injuries or deaths caused by their use.
There are two types of uterine sarcoma that may be diagnosed after the use of a power morcellator during laparoscopic surgeries: endometrial stromal sarcoma and leiomyosarcoma. The latter is life threatening and aggressive in nature, and may not be detected for a long time due to its dormant nature. If the tumor remains within the uterus, is detected early, and removed surgically then the chances of survival of the patient can increase. Almost 60% of these patients can survive for 5 years or more if the cancer is detected and removed at an early stage. But, if leiomyosarcoma caused by the use of a power morcellator spreads outside of the uterus, which is very fertile for cancerous growths, then it becomes extremely difficult to treat and the survival rate may fall considerably. This normally happens with the use of a power morcellator during laparoscopic surgeries. In some cases, the use of a morcellator can upgrade the stage of cancer from stage one to stage four before it is even diagnosed. In these cases, the cancer can spread to various vital organs including the rectum, urinary bladder, bones, and lungs. In these cases, the survival rate may drop up to 15% along with affecting the quality of life of the patient. In some cases, women may only survive for a few months.
If you experience any of the symptoms listed below after undergoing a laparoscopic surgery in which a morcellator was used then you should speak to your physician immediately.
If you or a loved one is suffering from uterine cancer caused by the use of a power morcellator during laparoscopic surgery then you should consult an experienced product liability lawyer to assess your eligibility to file a morcellator lawsuit. The attorneys at Abbott Law Group have over thirty years of experience trying product liability and personal injury lawsuits. Please contact us today to find out if you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Abbott Law Group at 877.292.1500 (or fill out the online form) to receive a free, confidential case evaluation.