Power Morcellators

FDA Warns Against Laparoscopic Power Morcellation

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning against the use of laparoscopic power morcellation for hysterectomy or myomectomy (uterine fibroid removal). There are concerning reports of the spread of unsuspected cancerous tissue—specifically, uterine sarcoma—during laparoscopic hysterectomy. Laparoscopic power morcellation lawsuits have now been filed by women alleging they were harmed by the use of a power morcellator during laparoscopic hysterectomy.

The FDA has warned that about 1 out of every 350 women who are undergoing power morcellation for benign fibroids do have an unsuspected type of cancer. These are classified as a uterine sarcoma.

The use of laparoscopic power morcellation increases the risk that cancerous tissue within the uterus will be spread throughout the patient’s abdomen and pelvis, decreasing the patient’s chances of survival.

Lawsuits have now been filed against the makers of some power morcellation devices, alleging women were harmed by the use of the devices. The lawsuits allege the use of a morcellator device resulted in an aggressive cancer—leiomyosarcoma—spreading throughout the patient’s body. The lawsuit alleges that Ethicon—a division of Johnson & Johnson—knew or should have known about the risk of a morcellation device spreading cancer in the patient’s body, but failed to warn about that risk.

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