Columbia Power Morcellator Lawyer
Morcellation is a medical term meaning to reduce a solid tissue specimen into smaller pieces to allow for its removal via smaller incisions. For many years this has been the laparoscopic method of removing large masses that most doctors prefer. Laparoscopy is a surgical technique involving the use of a fiber-optic instrument to view the organs and procedure.
Doctors first accomplished morcellation via simple hand tools – first with scalpels and then with more specialized tools. Eventually, scientists created powered morcellators which were more efficient than morcellation by hand.
Surgeries Involving Power Morcellators
The two most common procedures involving a power morcellator are hysterectomies and laparoscopic myomectomy. A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus. These procedures are necessary for various reasons, some of which include:
- Uterine prolapse (shifting of the uterus from its proper position to one inside the vaginal canal).
- Cancer in the uterus, cervix, or ovaries.
- Chronic pain in the pelvic region.
- Endometriosis (forming of uterine lining outside of the uterus).
Hysterectomies used to also be done if there were fibrous structures in the uterus, but advances in surgical techniques and technology allowed for the creation of myomectomy. Myomectomy is a procedure in which doctors remove fibroids from the uterus.
Uterine Sarcoma and Power Morcellators
Recently, the FDA has warned against the use of power morcellators for the removal of uterine tissue or fibroids from the uterus. This is due to recent findings showing that uterine tissue may contain undetected cancer cells. As many as 1 in 350 women undergoing a hysterectomy or laparoscopic myomectomy may have this undiagnosed uterine sarcoma.
When a physician uses a power morcellator in a uterus infected with cancer cells, it spreads the cancer throughout the body, lessening a person’s chances of long term survival. Until there is a more certain method of detecting uterine sarcoma, the FDA advises against using power morcellators for hysterectomies or laparoscopic myomectomies. Health advocates suggest using other alternatives to power morcellation.
The FDA has also mandated that laparoscopic power morcellators must have a warning and two contraindications clearly labeled on their packaging. The warning should inform patients and medical care providers that uterine tissue may contain undiagnosed cancer cells and use of a laparoscopic power morcellator may spread such cancer cells, negatively impacting long-term survival of patients. Surgeons should avoid using power morcellators for the laparoscopic destruction of tissue of the uterus that may contain fibroids in any patients who are perimenopausal, postmenopausal, or are eligible for alternative surgeries. Similarly, doctors should not use morcellation in gynecologic surgery if health care provides suspect cancer cells in the tissues.
Medical Malpractice Cases Involving Power Morcellation
Given the recent findings of the risks posed by using power morcellators for hysterectomies and laparoscopic myomectomies, some women are filing cases for medical malpractice against doctors who perform these procedures. Power Morcellation injury is still a relatively new area of litigation, so not many law firms have experience with it yet.
If you or a member of your family has undergone a hysterectomy or laparoscopic myomectomies where a doctor used a power morcellator, and you suspect the procedure may have resulted in injury, contact the lawyers of Discepolo LLP today. Our main office has more than 15 years of experience advocating for victims of medical malpractice. We have won nearly $100 million in settlements for our clients in these cases.
Our main office is located in Columbia, Maryland, but we have offices in other states including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington and Illinois. We also offer co-counsel services nationwide. For help in deciding whether you have a case, call one of our representatives for a free consultation.