West Palm Beach Power Power Morcellator Lawyer
Surgery has evolved considerably from what it was even just 20 or 30 years ago. Today, noninvasive procedures are possible that require only minimal incisions. These surgeries offer far shorter recovery times, provide better healing for patients, and come with dramatically reduced risks. The key to noninvasive surgeries is modern medical equipment. Laparoscopic equipment allows surgeons to create minute incisions, repair damage or remove diseased tissue, and to do it almost remotely. However, this technology is not always as beneficial as it seems, as attested by the number of power morcellator lawsuits.
What Is a Power Morcellator?
A power morcellator is a laparoscopic surgical tool. They’re used in procedures like hysterectomies and myomectomies, and are used to sever uterine tissues by cutting them into very small pieces. The cut tissue can then be removed via a vacuum line, allowing even a full hysterectomy to be completed without having to “open” the patient. The patient benefits from less pain, a faster recovery time and fewer complications.
What’s the Issue?
The problem that has given rise to power morcellator lawsuits is the fact that these devices have been linked to an increased risk in specific types of cancer. The FDA issued a warning to this effect in 2014, and the device manufacturer, Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon, suspended all sales and manufacturing. Of course, that suspension did nothing for the patients who had already undergone surgery using a power morcellator.
How Does It Work?
Power morcellators cut uterine tissue into small pieces. These pieces are then removed via a small incision. The problem is that not all the tissue is removed. Minute, almost microscopic pieces often remain within the body cavity. The issue here is that if this tissue is cancerous, it often spreads to other parts of the body, turning what would otherwise have been a simple tumor removal procedure into a potentially deadly threat.
There are other threats here as well. Even benign tissue can become a problem. Cut tissue fragments can become embedded in organs and other structures, creating a host of dangerous, painful conditions, including:
Each of these conditions could require further surgery to correct them (a problem only caused by the initial surgery in the first place). If the tissue distributed in the body is cancerous, it can spread the disease to numerous other organs and structures. This is particularly true for undiagnosed cancers of the uterus, including:
- Endometrial adenocarcinoma
- Endometrial stromal sarcoma
The problem is not only for women, either. It may also seed cancer throughout the body in men who have certain liver or spleen surgeries.
Power Morcellator Lawsuits
There have been numerous power morcellator lawsuits filed on behalf of patients, some of whom died as a result of cancer that developed after having a procedure done involving one of these devices. Several of these cases have been high profile, but there are many others that have not garnered the same headlines. There may be many more cases “waiting in the wings”, as the FDA estimates that 1 in 350 women is at risk for developing cancer because of an undiagnosed cancer spreading through the body due to tissue dispersal by power morcellators. The threat of fibroids and other noncancerous growths due to tissue spreading in the body cavity is even greater.
Have you or a loved one been injured or developed cancer after undergoing a procedure using a power morcellator? If so, the law offices of Casey D. Shomo can offer a consultation on your case and help you determine if you should join the growing number of power morcellator lawsuits.