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The Dangers of Using Power Morcellators


Power Morcellators used to remove uterine fibroids and during surgeries including hysterectomies and myomectomies can pose a serious risk to a patient's health. The risks can include wounds beyond the scope of surgery and the spreading of cancerous tissue throughout the body which can lead to terminal cancers.

FDA Warns Against Using Power Morcellators

The FDA estimates that 1 in every 350 women who undergo a laparoscopic hysterectomy or myomectomy to treat utierine fibroids have some form of undiagnosed sarcoma. The use of a power morcellator during a surgical procedure can spread this tissue throughout the body. For this reason, the FDA recommends limited use of the devices and requires all physicians using the devices to warn patients of the risks prior to the procedure.

Recalling a Dangerous Tool

It's estimated that power morcellators are used in approximately 10% of all hysterectomies or myomectomies. Because of the risks of surgical errors occurring because of design defects in many of the devices, manufacturers have suspended sales and recalled many of the devices.

Johnson & Johnson was forced to issue a voluntary recall the Morecellex Sigma, Gynecare X-Tract, and Gynecare Morecellex. However, because it was a voluntary recall, there exists the potential that these devices are still being used by surgical teams throughout the country.

The Risk of Cancer

Should a power morcellator cause the spread of an undiagnosed sarcoma such as leiomyosarcoma, the prognosis for patients is bleak. Women who are diagnosed with Stage 4 leiomyosarcoma have a five year survival rate of just 15%.

While the risk of cancer is present in all demographics, it rises considerably with age. There are 135 cases of uterine cancer for every 10,000 women between the ages of 55-59. This rises to 156 for women aged 60-64, and skyrockets to 300 for women over the age of 65. Nationwide, women who have undergone a procedure where a power morcellator was used are four times more likely to die of a uterine sarcoma than women who have not.

Liability for Injuries Caused by Power Morcellators

Liability for injuries caused by the use of power morcellators can fall on the surgeon, the surgical facility, or the manufacturer of the device. A product liability attorney can assist injured patients in recovering damages for lost wages, medical care, loss of quality of life, and loss of consortium. In the event the patient passes away as a result of their injuries, survivors may also file a wrongful death claim.

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