Laparoscopic Power Morcellator Use And Cancer Links Causes A Recall

by Terry Bryant

In July 2014, Johnson & Johnson was made aware of morcellator use and cancer links, and issued a recall following FDA warnings that the use of laparoscopic power morcellators (LPM) could present a risk of serious harm to patients.

LPMs have been used in a number of procedures, including hysterectomies, myomectomies, spleen and renal surgeries since 1993. Once thought to be a low-risk, minimally invasive surgical tool, the FDA has since found that the saw-like instrument, when used on undetected malignant tissue, may spread cancerous cells throughout the unsuspecting patient’s body. The results can be devastating, aggravating previously contained malignancies and dispersing them to otherwise healthy tissues and organs.

Procedures using the LPM are meant to be the least invasive. The machine enters the body through a small incision and is used to disintegrate the tumor or mass for easy removal. The problems occur when there is undetected cancer near the site. If the LPM cuts into malignant tissue it will disturb the diseased cells the patient (and even physicians) may not have known even existed in the first place. Although patients do undergo screenings prior to surgery, these tests cannot reveal all cancers, and some of the most dangerous ones are notorious for avoiding detection.

Anyone that has had surgery involving the LPM should receive regular follow-up medical screenings. If cancer rears its ugly head, a product liability attorney can discuss your rights and the possibility of litigation. Johnson and Johnson’s morcellator links to cancer and the following recall has, unfortunately, come too late for hundreds of victims.