Power Morcellators Continue to Make Headlines as Johnson & Johnson Issues a Recall of Morcellators
Morcellation surgical tools, used to remove tissue during laparoscopic gynecological surgeries, are now known to spread cancerous cells in patients who have an undetected form of cancer. When power morcellators spread cancer, it can significantly worsen a patient’s chances of survival.
The Ethicon unit of Johnson & Johnson, a market leader for power morcellators, issued a statement in July 2014 asking doctors to return the devices, in what is being called “a worldwide market withdrawal” of Ethicon morcellation tools that remain on the market.
Prior to the recall, Johnson & Johnson halted sales of several morcellator devices in April, after the FDA made an announcement discouraging health care providers from using power morcellation during certain gynecological procedures.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer after a hysterectomy, myomectomy or another gynecological surgery, you may be entitled to compensation.
How Power Morcellators Spread Cancer
In performing a hysterectomy (removal of uterus) or myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroids), surgeons may have used a tool called a power morcellator to divide tissue into smaller pieces that can be removed through small incisions. This method is dangerous when unsuspected cancerous tissue is broken down in the process and spreads into the abdomen and pelvis. If that happens, the patient’s cancer may metastasize and grow further, decreasing the likelihood of long-term survival.
1 in 350 Women Undergoing a Hysterectomy is Found to Have Undetected Uterine Cancer
Based on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analysis of currently available data, it is estimated that 1 in 350 women undergoing a hysterectomy or myomectomy for treatment of fibroids is found to have an unsuspected uterine sarcoma, a type of uterine cancer that includes leiomyosarcoma.
Because there are no reliable methods for testing whether uterine fibroids are cancerous before surgeons operate, the FDA advises against using a power morcellator for hysterectomy or myomectomy for uterine fibroids.
Ethicon, Inc. is a Johnson & Johnson company
Note – Any medical decision is important. Please consult your physician before making any medical decision.