Frequently utilized to remove fibroids or other noncancerous growths during a hysterectomy or a myomectomy, morcellators are no longer uniformly recognized as safe and effective medical devices to perform these procedures. Recently, the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson recalled three of its power morcellators—the Morcellex Sigma, the Gynecare Morcellex, and the Gynecare X-Tract—following study results that demonstrated a significant correlation between the use of the devices and cancer growth. As such, the morcellator lawsuit attorneys at Williams Kherkher are now investigating claims regarding the use of morcellators and cancer growth. If you suffered from cancer growth after a surgical procedure involving a morcellator, we believe that the responsible medical device manufacturer needs to be held accountable for their dangerous products. Our team has experience going up against some of the largest medical device manufacturers in the country, and we know what it takes to see that justice is served and that our clients’ interests and well-being are protected.
Correlation Between Morcellator Use and Cancer Growth
Morcellators are particularly well-suited to remove certain noncancerous growths during a laparoscopic surgical procedure, as these devices can help break down non-cancerous tumors and tissues into smaller pieces. However, if a patient does have cancerous tumors or growths, it can spread this cancerous tissue. As such, the unintended consequences associated with the use of morcellators can be devastating and may include:
- Cancer growth, particularly
- Metastatic leiomyosarcoma
- Uterine cancer
- Uterine sarcoma
- Endometrial stromal sarcoma
- The abnormal growth of tissue
- Direct harm to healthy tissue
In July of 2014, an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) stated that the rate of undetected uterine cancer among women who underwent a hysterectomy involving a power morcellator could be as high as 27 out of every 10,000 procedures, or 1 in 370. These statistics soberly illustrate the very real dangers that women who have undergone procedures involving power morcellators were regularly and unknowingly exposed to.
Morcellators and the FDA
In April of 2014, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned doctors not to use the power morcellators that have since been recalled by Johnson & Johnson. This warning came in advance of a June 2014 meeting in which an advisory panel to the FDA met and discussed safety issued related to the use of power morcellators, as well as possible changes to the regulatory status applied to these devices. Shortly after this meeting, another advisory panel met to discuss possible ways that the dangers posed by power morcellators could be avoided.
Then, on November 24, 2014, the FDA issued a Safety Communication, in which they attached a “Black Box” warning to power morcellators because of the extreme risks they pose to users. This warning stated that the risks posed by morcellators outweigh any potential benefits that, in almost all circumstances, the use of these devices should not be used. The warning referenced that as many as 1 in every 350 women who undergo a procedure involving a power morcellator could have undetected uterine cancer, and that the use of these devices puts too many women at needless risk.
While the FDA has not yet officially banned power morcellators, it is possible that a ban may be issued in the near future over concerns regarding their dangerous side effects. Sadly, this ban may come too late for some who have already suffered devastating side effects due to morcellator use in surgical procedures.
Consult With a Morcellator Lawsuit Attorney
At Williams Kherkher, our morcellator lawsuit attorneys want to help patients who experienced cancer growth following a surgical procedure involving the use of a morcellator. If your cancer has spread, and you believe that this is due to morcellator use, we want to put our years of experience handling cases just like these to work for you. You should not be forced to deal with the financial burdens of a health situation caused by a dangerous medical device, so call us today at (800) 220-9341 and learn more about what our team is prepared to do for you.
Recent Morcellator Blog Posts
Friday, June 24th, 2016 at 3:43 pm
A morcellator is a device used to trap cancerous tissue during hysterectomies and surgeries to remove fibroids. The devices resemble a drill with sharp blades at the end. Doctors insert the long, tube-like portion into small incisions in the abdomen, perform morcellation of the uterus or fibroid by chopping up the tissue, and vacuum it out of the body.
The use of morcellators has been linked to cancer growth in women. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed an Irish company to market its new power morcellator tissue collection system. The bag promises to trap potentially cancerous tissue and prevent it from spreading in the body, but the new tool is not guaranteed to stop the spread of cancer.
If you have suffered from the aggressive growth of cancer after undergoing a medical procedure involving a power morcellator, please speak with the lawyers at Williams Kherkher. Call us today at (800) 220-9341 to learn more about your rights and to hold negligent parties responsible.
Thursday, June 9th, 2016 at 12:35 pm
A woman who has been diagnosed with uterine cancer is often required to undergo a surgical procedure, depending on how advanced the cancer is and how feasible it is to prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.
A gynecologic surgeon may perform a hysterectomy to remove the cervix and the uterus of the patient if the tumor found is likely to spread to other parts of the body. In a “radical hysterectomy,” the surgeon may also need to remove some parts of the vagina. Vaginal parts like the ovaries and fallopian tubes may also be removed if the patient is menopausal. In some instances, a surgeon may want to find out whether the cancer spread to the patient’s lymph nodes by performing a “sentinel lymph node biopsy.” The procedures are then followed by strategic therapy sessions to fully suppress cancer cells.
Unfortunately, uterine cancer treatment is often expensive, leaving patients and their families struggling with great financial loss. However, if your cancer has spread as the result of a morcellation surgery, the legal team at Williams Kherkher may be able to work for you. Find out how we may help you get the compensation you deserve by calling (800) 220-9341.
Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 at 1:08 pm
The earliest symptom indicating that a woman may have uterine cancer is when a lump or tumor starts to develop in the uterus as a result of uncontrollable growth or change of cells in the uterine cavity. Women who are considering undergoing diagnostic tests should note the possible symptoms of this kind of reproductive cancer:
- Painful urination or other problems urinating
- Abnormal bleeding in the vagina that can come in the form of discharge or spotting
- Any pain felt around the pelvic region
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Abnormal bleeding in the uterus or menorrhagia
Uterine cancer in the female’s reproductive system may also spread to other parts of the body. Women are advised to immediately see their physician if they experience any of these symptoms.
Unfortunately, some women who undergo a myomectomy or hysterectomy may experience the spread of uterine cancer as a result of using power morcellators during the procedure. If undergoing a morcellator surgery has caused the spread of your cancer, the lawyers at Williams Kherkher may be able to help you. Call our office at (800) 220-9341 to find out how we could help you receive the compensation you need for recovery.