Power Morcellator May Spread Uterine Cancer

Power morcellators used for hysterectomy or fibroid removal may result in spreading of cancerous tissues.

Power morcellators are medical devices that are typically used to remove uterine fibroids or are used when performing hysterectomies. A physician creates a small incision, inserts the device, and uses the morcellator to cut up the uterus or fibroids to make it easier for removal.

Unfortunately, a small percentage of women who have undergone these procedures may have had an undiagnosed sarcoma in their uterus or fibroids which doctors are unable to detect prior to this procedure. When the power morcellator is used to grind up the uterus or fibroids it can cause these cancerous tissues to spread. This can result in these women being diagnosed with leimyosarcoma (LMS), endometrial stromal sarcoma, or other uterine cancers.

In April 2014, the FDA warned against using morcellation for fibroid and hysterectomy treatment due to these risks. This was followed-up in July 2014, when Eticon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, the largest seller of power morcellators, issued a power morcellator recall due to the risks of spreading cancer.

On November 24, 2014, the FDA recommended that manufacturers of power morcellators include the following boxed warning and contraindications on their product labels:

Boxed Warning:
“Uterine tissue may contain unsuspected cancer. The use of laparoscopic power morcellators during fibroid surgery may spread cancer and decrease the long-term survival of patients. This information should be shared with patients when considering surgery with the use of these devices.”

“Laparoscopic power morcellators are contraindicated (should not be used) for removal of uterine tissue containing suspected fibroids in patients who are: peri- or post-menopausal, or candidates for en bloc tissue removal (removing tissue intact) through the vagina or mini-laparotomy incision. (These groups of women represent the majority of women with fibroids who undergo hysterectomy and myomectomy.)

Laparoscopic power morcellators are contraindicated (should not be used) in gynecologic surgery in which the tissue to be morcellated is known or suspected to be cancerous.”

Our firm is actively investigating these cases as the women who underwent these procedures were not adequately informed about the dangers of undergoing such a procedure by the manufacturers of these products.  If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer after receiving a laparoscopic power morcellation, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Ruth Law Team for a free consultation.  1-888-783-8378.