A power morcellator recall became necessary once researchers discovered its link to cancer. The device is made with a motorized blade attached to a rod, and the blade is designed to mince tissue at the treatment site – usually diseased tissue in the uterus. The rod is also made with a vacuum system that sucks up the minced tissue and deposits it outside the body. At the time of its creation, doctors believed that the system would be perfectly safe and highly effective, but now even the FDA cautions against using the device.
That’s because it is not completely effective and leaves behind trace amounts of tissue. This alone is a concern, as it can result in an infection. But what makes it particularly dangerous is that it can activate latent cancers in the uterus. As many as 1 in 350 women are believed to have an undetected leiomyosarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer that spreads quickly. If the tumor is minced during a procedure, it can root in several spots inside abdomen, increasing its rate of growth exponentially. It has already resulted in several deaths, and with the FDA urging doctors to use alternatives during treatment, a power morcellator recall was inevitable.
Also inevitable are the lawsuits that manufacturers will face in the coming years. There are already several claims developing, and manufacturers have pulled their products from shelves in anticipation of what is to come.