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Power morcellators cause uterine cancer to spread

Victims of medical malpractice and defective surgical devices can suffer for a lifetime. Families of those who have passed due to the negligence of a surgeon or medical device manufacturer are left dumbfounded and shocked at their loss, assuming the best before their loved one goes in for surgery; only to be given the worst possible news thereafter. At Dallas W. Hartman, P.C., we have been helping people who are victims of medical malpractice and defective surgical devices for more than twenty-five years. If you have any questions, give us a call today at 800-866-1910.

Power morcellation medical malpractice

Laparoscopic power morcellation (LPM) surgery is most often used in female-specific surgeries, such as hysterectomies and myomectomies. The power morcellator is a medical device that is used to grind tissue down into microscopic pieces so that it can be pulled out of a woman's uterus via small incision(s) in her abdomen.

In April 2014, the United States Food and Drug Administration put out an official warning to surgeons who use the device and their patients, telling physicians not to use to the device because of the risk it poses to women who may have cancerous cells inside the tissue that is going to be removed. Despite the goal of uterine surgery requiring a morcellator to remove fibroid tumors, the tool has actually been found to spread cancerous cells in tissue in such a way that the cancer can be upstaged in a woman as many as three levels in a very short time after surgery.

The FDA believes that one in every 350 women who have female-specific surgeries that utilize laparoscopic power morcellators are at risk for uterine sarcoma. Considering there are more than half a million hysterectomies done per year in the United States alone, the amount of women who can be greatly affected or die due to the use of a power morcellator is astounding.  

Johnson & Johnson stops sales, but doesn't issue recalls

Ethicon, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that produces more than 70% of the morcellator market, has recently decided to stop selling its morcellators to medical institutions that use them for female-specific surgeries. Those Ethicon models include the Gynecare X-Tract Tissue Morcellator, Morcellex Sigma Tissue Morcellator System, and the Gynecare Morcellex Tissue Morcellator. However, although Ethicon and J&J did suspend sales of these three morcellator models, they did not recall any device that they previously sold. Many experts in the field are now questioning J&J's business ethics: If you would suspend sales because you know the product is dangerous, then why not issue a recall?

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