The side effects of morcellators were apparently known long before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its first official warning in 2014. This is a disturbing revelation for those who are already suffering the consequences as patients or their families.
Power morcellators were considered an important breakthrough back in 1991 for routine hysterectomies or myomectomies because it was minimally invasive. The device was a drill-like apparatus that could slip through a 2-centimeter incision or through the vagina canal to remove and excise uterine fibroids or other abnormal tissue. This method was more efficient and clean than traditional surgical methods for the surgeon, and the healing time was quicker for the patient. About 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the US every year. Morcellation understandably became the method of choice for many gynecologists.
However, doctors noticed as early as the late 1990s that tissue fragments often were left behind, and in 2003 there were indications that at least some of these fragments may have been malignant. It is standard practice in most surgical procedures to use a surgical bag to contain suspect tissue—uterine fibroid are usually benign, but not always—but this was not the case with morcellators. This is because manufacturers did not include a surgical bag as part of the device’s equipment nor warn doctors about the risks, so doctors believed the risk was low.
These two things contributed greatly to the number of preventable deaths and cases of uterine sarcomas that developed over the years. As it is turning out, the risks are very high; to the tune of one in every 350 cases, in fact. Considering that about 12% of 600,000 women chose morcellation for their procedure, this means that of the 72,000 or so patients every year, about 200 women will end up with uterine cancer. Since morcellators has been in use since 1991, a conservative estimate would still put these preventable cancers in the thousands.
If you suffered serious injury or loss from power morcellators, you are not alone. You have the right to sue for compensation, just as others have done, because the manufacturers failed in their duty of care. Contact a competent morcellator lawyer in your area as soon as possible to get the best possible assessment of your case.Read More