Many women require a hysterectomy when they have been diagnosed with uterine or cervical cancer. In a tragic twist of irony, women may develop cancer after a hysterectomy thanks to a morcellator used by doctors during the hysterectomy.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer after a morcellator was used for a hysterectomy, contact a morcellator lawyer in Jackson, MS for a legal consultation to evaluate your case.
What Is a Morcellator?
A power morcellator is a surgical device used during abdominal surgeries and was a particularly common instrument to use on women undergoing uterine fibroid removal or a hysterectomy. The morcellator is ultimately used to cut large pieces of tissue into smaller pieces. For a hysterectomy, this allows surgeons to make minimally invasive incisions rather than large cuts. In theory, this provides patients with faster recovery times, less pain and fewer complications.
In reality, however, morcellators pose a serious safety risk to women. When morcellators cut larger pieces of tissue into smaller ones, tiny pieces of tissue are left behind. If those tiny pieces left behind contain cells that are cancerous, the morcellator can spread aggressive forms of uterine cancer throughout the woman’s abdomen. In turn, the risk of death greatly increases. The FDA warned against these risks, cautioning women that morcellators increase the risk of spreading cancer in women being treated for uterine fibroids. In November of 2014, the FDA also issued a “black box” warning against using morcellators in the vast majority of hysterectomies and other gynecological surgeries.
Additional Morcellator Dangers and Side Effects
In addition to spreading cancerous tissue, morcellators cause other dangers and side effects to a woman’s body. Some additional side effects and risks include:
- Bowel Obstruction
- Organ Damage
- Abdominal/Pelvic Pain
- Pain at Incision Site
- Muscle Soreness
- Fibroid Reoccurrence
- Spread of Fibroids to Different Body Parts
- And More
Once women became aware of the link between morcellators and uterine cancer, lawsuits followed shortly thereafter. These lawsuits led Ethicon, one of the most prominent power morcellator manufacturers, to pull all of their devices off the market days after the original FDA warning. Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon’s parent company, referred to the move as a “worldwide market withdrawal“.
In March of 2016, Johnson & Johnson made a series of high-profile settlements in the Ethicon lawsuits. The lawsuits were settledfor amounts ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. The sad reality of these settlements is they should have been avoidable. A prominent doctor with nearly three decades of experience warned Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary (Ethicon) that morcellators could spread cancer as early as 2006. Eight years before morcellators were eventually taken off the market, Johnson & Johnsonalready had the warning that could have saved many women from the harms they suffered.
News of morcellator dangers and the rise of morcellator lawsuits have also led the FDA to approve surgical bags to contain tissues. The FDA does caution, however, that these bags are not proven to reduce the risk of cancer, and may lead to other risks such as organ damage, infection and longer surgeries.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a morcellator manufacturer’s negligence and received a cancer diagnosis as a result, you may be entitled to legal compensation. ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP’s trusted team of morcellator lawsuit attorneys in Jackson, MS will fight for your right to receive compensation and hold the negligent manufacturer accountable for your injuries.
Contact our team of morcellator lawsuit attorneys in Mississippi or call (601) 300-3333 for a legal consultation to discuss your morcellator case.