Many women undergo laparoscopic surgeries for removal of cystic fibroids on the uterus. In this procedure, a device called a "morcellator" is used to break down the fibroid and remove it through a tube inserted into a small incision. Power morcellators, introduced in the 1990s, decreased the time involved in performing the procedure, and for this reason, they have been very popular over the last few decades.
Over the years, the power morcellators have been shown to pose a very serious risk to women's health. In breaking it down, the morcellator shreds the fibroid into very small pieces. The intent is for these pieces to be extracted through the laparoscopic incision. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to ensure that every single piece of the fibroid is removed when a power morcellator is used. The device works to shred the fibroid very quickly, and some of the fibroid material that enters the abdominal cavity is not removed during the procedure.
Laparoscopic removal of fibroids is favored because it is a quicker surgery, with minimal scarring and a shorter recovery time. For most people, these benefits weigh heavily in choosing the laparoscopic procedure over a more invasive surgery.
However, use of the morcellator can be fatal when the fibroid is cancerous, and cancer cells are spread throughout the abdomen during fibroid removal. Women and their doctors are sometimes not aware that the fibroid is cancerous because of the difficulty of making such a determination without a biopsy.
Pharmaceutical giant, Johnson & Johnson, has recalled its power morcellator device, and many hospital have stopped using all brands of power morcellators.
If you, or a loved, one has undergone a laparoscopic uterine fibroid removal operation using a power morcellator, and subsequently developed problems, contact the medical device product liability attorneys at Egerton Law 1-800-800-4LAW to discuss your legal option.