Morcellation law suit preparations are already beginning as several device manufacturers have suddenly been thrust into the spotlight. This is partly due to the efforts of outspoken victims, and their loved ones, who have pushed back against a procedure that they claim is hazardous and possibly fatal. The uproar has been serious enough to garner immediate attention from the FDA, which now recommends doctors not use the device for uterine fibroid removal or hysterectomies. Some device manufacturers have already pulled their products from the market, citing uncertain safety claims, and at least one company has threatened legal action against anyone who claims their devices increase cancer risk.
WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN CONSIDERING JOINING A MORCELLATION LAW SUIT?
A power morcellator is typically used to perform a hysterectomy or eliminate uterine fibroids, which are benign tumors that may cause symptoms like abdominal pain or painful menstruation. It can also be used to remove kidney or spleen tissue.
During operation, the device is inserted into the body via a laparoscopic incision and maneuvered to the surgical site. Once in position, a set of spinning jaws grind problematic tissue up, mincing it to a tiny, uniform size. The minced tissue is then removed from the body through a long cylinder that is attached to the blade. When everything goes correctly, all of the minced tissue is removed, and there are minimal complications following surgery.
However, rarely does everything proceed as it should. Though the device’s blades are precise, they aren’t entirely effective, and they can leave minced tissue behind in the body after surgery. This can cause parasitical growth that results in worse pain and other complications than were present before treatment. Even worse is that the treatment can “awaken” aggressive cancers like a uterine leiomyosarcoma. Prior to the surgery, the patient’s doctor is supposed to scan thoroughly for any hidden cancers in the uterus, but this is not foolproof, and some doctors don’t check as closely as they should. As a result, cancer cells that are hiding may be minced up and allowed to root and spread, resulting in a rapid onset of aggressive cancer.
Many women who are filing a morcellation law suit are pointing to several medical studies that confirm this danger. A study published in Fertility and Sterility in 2011 determined that 1 in 1,000 women were likely harboring a hidden leiomyosarcoma, and these women are at extreme risk of developing cancer following treatment. The FDA believes the situation is even worse, stating that 1 in 350 women are at major risk of cancer if they receive the surgery. This staggering level of risk is why the FDA is calling for doctors to cease usage of the device in various uterine procedures.
Several women have already filed claims against device manufacturers, and this number will be going up significantly in the future. Hopefully, this will demonstrate to manufacturers that they must research their products more thoroughly before they are placed on the market.