Shaw Cowart LLP is no longer accepting power morcellator litigation cases.
A power morcellator is a device used to remove fibroids and other non-cancerous growths during certain types of surgeries, including hysterectomies or myomectomies. While using a morcellator during these surgeries was once considered standard practice, questions have been raised in recent years about whether these devices are as safe and effective as they were once believed to be.
Recently, Johnson & Johnson recalled three of the power morcellators it had placed on the market: the Morcellex Sigma, the Gynecare Morcellex, and the Gynecare X-Tract. The recall followed a 2014 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that found a link between the use of morcellators and cancer growth in patients.
Morcellators became popular because they provided a way to remove non-cancerous tissue during a laparoscopy, allowing surgeons to offer less invasive surgeries that still offered a good chance of eliminating the problematic fibroid or other tissue. Since they work by breaking tissue to be removed into small pieces, however, morcellators can also increase the spread of cancerous cells by breaking them apart. Often, it is not possible for the surgeon to tell during the surgery whether cancer cells are present within the non-cancerous growth to be removed.
The 2014 JAMA study found that nearly 1 in every 370 women who had had a hysterectomy in which a power morcellator was used could develop an otherwise rare form of cancer. Investigators believed that the cancer cells formed in the uterus, where they went undetected until the morcellator spread them through the body. In April of that year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice to doctors warning them not to use the Johnson & Johnson morcellators, which the company later recalled.
In November 2014, the FDA issued a “black box” warning for power morcellators, due to the risks they pose. In the warning, the FDA stated that the risks outweigh any benefits of using the morcellators in nearly every circumstance – especially since other forms of hysterectomy are available.
Although the FDA has not yet moved to ban the use of power morcellators, the effects of their use have already caused serious injuries to many patients. Others must continue to monitor their health vigilantly for years to come.
If you’re concerned about your legal rights and options related to your morcellator case, please call 512-499-8900 or email our qualified attorneys to discuss how to obtain fair and complete compensation for your damages.