Posted by Bill Sandweg on 29 May 2015.
The last few weeks have seen an unusual confluence of events. In the first place, the discussion of the risks of power morcellators has continued to proceed. Power morcellators are tools which are used in laparoscopic procedures to remove uterine fibroids. The official medical term for the procedure is laparoscopic myomectomy. Small incisions are made in the abdomen. Tools and a camera are inserted into the uterus through the openings and the fibroids are identified and cut away from the uterine wall. The power morcellator is then introduced and used to chew up the fibroids so that they can be removed through the small incisions. The problem is that, according to the FDA, women undergoing fibroid surgery have a 1 in 350 chance of having undetectable uterine malignancies. The use of the morcellator risks chewing up malignant tissue and allowing the tiny bits and pieces to spread throughout the uterus.
The second event is the arrival of the FBI on the scene. It turns out that Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest manufacturer of morcellators, may have known as early as 2006 that the morcellators presented a threat and failed to act on the knowledge. J&J removed its power morcellators from the market last summer but others remain available. Exactly what the FBI is investigating and at what stage its investigation is at present is not clear. The FBI refuses to comment upon its investigation.
Where you come in is that if you have undergone a laparoscopic myomectomy which involved the use of a power morcellator and have subsequently developed uterine cancer, there may be relationship between the use of the morcellator and the development of the disease. You should see a qualified attorney and have your records reviewed to see if you have been damaged by the use of the power morcellator. As always, time is important in these matters so see someone as soon as possible.