A device used for fibroid surgery or for minimally invasive hysterectomy can spread cancerous tissues through a woman’s body. Victims of this defective medical device — known as a power morcellator — may be legally entitled to substantial economic recovery via a power morcellator lawsuit lawyer.
Such a lawsuit can target pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, the leading maker of the device. After selling it since 1998, Johnson & Johnson finally issued a power morcellator recall in April of 2014 following a safety warning by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the device’s dangers.
Yet this recall came too late for numerous women in America who already have suffered severe injuries from the defective medical device used as a substitute for “C” sections to remove the uterus and fibroids which can cause pain, bleeding and other complications.
It’s common for women to have fibroids, which are usually benign muscle growths in the uterus.
Also, each year around 500,000 women in America have hysterectomies, and in about 33% of these fibroids are discovered. However, imaging tests can’t ascertain definitively if a fibroid is cancerous.
Morcellators can remove non-cancerous uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas, from the uterus’ muscular tissue during minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery known as a myomectomy. Another option is to remove the uterus in its entirety, which is known as a hysterectomy.
Fibroid dangers can arise when fibroids develop cancerous cells — and power morcellators can make them worse when they’re used to remove what are believed to be benign uterine fibroids.
How? A power morcellator is essentially tube-shaped, spinning blade that’s applied during fibroid removal surgeries and for laparoscopic or robotic hysterectomies. The aim is for the morcellator to shred fibroids.
But when such fibroids turn out to be cancerous, power morcellators applied in such procedures can inadvertently spread cancerous tissues from the uterus into other body parts in the abdomen. In this way, a power morcellator can spread cancerous cells and make the problem far worse.
This occurs when the morcellator’s tiny, rotating blades break down tissue into minute fragments which are intended to be extracted via a small, minimally invasive incision. But during this process, a number of cells may be dispersed in the abdominal area, and when those cells are cancerous, extreme harm can be inflicted in innocent women.
As a result, a victim of a defective power morcellator can have substantially less chance of surviving cancer, especially if she’s had a history of uterine cancer, such as uterine leiomyosarcoma.
These women have a legal right to financial compensation by means of a morcellator lawyer. Such a lawsuit can claim payments for losses including medical costs, which can be extremely high when even more surgeries are required due to the morcellator’s failures.
For example, other surgeries may be needed to remove fibroid and uterine tissue causing bowel infections or obstructions.
After uterine fibroid surgery with a defective power morcellator, victims also may require additional surgery or surgeries to extract uterine or fibroid tissue from the liver, intestines or other organs. Victims also may be diagnosed with uterine sarcoma, which can be deadly.
Power morcellator studies have shown that women having uterine surgery using a power morcellator had nine times more likelihood of getting the aggressive, deadly cancer known as leiomyosarcoma.
Also, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is planning to probe laparoscopic power morcellators.
Even the FBI, or Federal Bureau of Investigation, is investigating morcellators devices. The bureau has found that a minimum of one out of every 350 women subjected to a morcellator procedure has had an unanticipated malignancy, and that malignancy was worsened by the morcellator grinding up the cancerous tissue and dispersing it in the body.
The FBI probe is designed to learn what Johnson & Johnson knew about the dangers of the devices and how long it knew this.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration — which began approving morcellators in 1991 — now advises against using laparoscopic power morcellation for hysterectomies when uterine fibroids are involved.
Morcellator brands include several from Johnson & Johnson, one of which is known as the Diva, from its Ethicon division. In fact, up to three-fourths of all morcellators come from this source. Other brands are the Gynecare X-Tract, Gynecare Morcellex and Morcellex Sigma.
In addition, other manufactures have sold power morcellators. These include Karl Storz GmbH, Olympus Corp. and Richard Wolf GmbH.
Such manufacturers can be the target of a defective medical device lawsuit by a power morcellator lawyer on behalf of victims.
If a member of your family has suffered injury when subjected to a power morcellator during surgery, notify our law firm immediately. We’ll quickly provide you with a free legal evaluation of your case — a case which may make you legally entitled to significant financial compensation.