Most commonly, power morcellator lawsuits, as well as FDA warnings, center on the use of power morcellators in hysterectomy and myomectomy procedures, which seek to remove large portions of uterine tissue more efficiently by way non-invasively severing smaller sections of tissue masses for later ease in removal via a cannula from the surgical site. This ostensibly leaves patients with less visible scarring, while also promoting swifter recovery periods in patients as the result of the electromechanical removal of uterine or fibroid tissue by way of relatively small incision sites.
Side Effects, Risks, and Complications of Power Morcellator
Women who have undergone surgical procedures involving power morcellator devices stand a significantly increased chance of developing new or worse uterine cancer conditions, which left unchecked may result in a case of undiagnosed or under-diagnosed uterine cancer. According to a report released by the FDA, the use of power morcellator devices is discouraged at this time, however, the company Ethicon, along with its parent company Johnson and Johnson, have not removed these dangerous medical products from the markets entirely at this time.
Women undergoing surgical procedures involving power morcellators stand a grossly increased risk of developing uterine sarcomas, or uterine cancer cells. These cancerous cells later expand into larger tissue masses in the uterus for affected patients.
A Growing Body of Problems Identified in Power Morcellator Lawsuits
Manufacturers of power morcellator medical devices are facing increasing numbers of claims filed by women previously undergoing medical procedures involving the medical device. Specifically, scientific evidence and FDA warnings, as well as tepid admissions by major manufacturers including Johnson and Johnson, indicate that early statements concerning the safety of these devices grossly underestimated the risks posed to patients.
Specifically, power morcellators have been linked to a dramatically increased risk of uterine cancer developing to more difficult to treat stages, which inherently jeopardizes the life of the patient, as well as proves counter-productive in many cases that originally sought to give surgical remedy to existing uterine cancer issues. These upstaging risks were wildly underreported by the power morcellator manufacturers, and in addition, the FDA has considered an outright ban of the product in light of growing evidence showing increased incidence of upstaging in uterine cancer patients treated surgically with these devices.
In the box warning issued in 2014 by the FDA on power morcellators, the following is indicated or counter indicated in this case:
- Using power morcellator devices to remove uterine tissue can result in spreading of previously undiagnosed cancer in the patients, thus rapidly worsening previously unknown cancer conditions.
- Power morcellator devices should not be utilized, per the FDA warning, in pre or post menopausal women that exhibit fibroids, as well as any woman that is an otherwise ideal candidate for complete tissue removal via the vagina or other methods of extraction
- In any case involving known or suspected cancerous tissues in a gynecological tissue, power morcellators should never be employed by medical professionals.
Patient Options in Light of Harms Caused by Power Morcellator Devices
Morcellator lawsuits exist to help those women who are suffering from upstaged cancer, as well as other medical complications, as the result of prior surgical treatment involving power morcellator devices. Women who have undergone this process during fibroid removal or hysterectomies are advised to seek medical attention to determine the current status of any pre-existing cancerous growths and if found to present upstaging in the case of uterine cancer patients, individuals should also seek the advice of a power morcellator lawyer.