Johnson & Johnson (J&J) recently made an official statement requesting that doctors discontinue the use of a medical device known as a morcellator. J&J is the largest manufacturer of this surgical device used in fibroid cyst removal and hysterectomies. This statement comes on the heels of a report issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that linked the morcellator to the spread of uterine cancer. J&J halted sales of the device in April 2014 shortly after the FDA’s findings were initially released.
If harmed because of this medical device, call us to review your options to recover damages.
The Risks of Morcellator Use
The laparoscopic power morcellator has been used in uterine surgery for years prior to this announcement. It essentially slices up uterine fibroids or other masses as well as the uterus itself when necessary for removal from the body. Slicing these structures into smaller pieces allows easier removal through the laparoscopic procedure. However, the FDA, after conducting studies and evaluating statistical data, has found evidence that the device also may spread uterine cancer.
Studies by the FDA and Columbia University found that about one in 350 women receiving treatment for uterine fibroids has undetected uterine cancer. When a morcellator is used to destroy the fibroids, it can spread the cancer into the body, causing additional illness in the patient.
Treating Uterine Cancer
Doctors use radiation therapy, hormone therapy or chemotherapy as potential treatments for uterine cancer. Surgery is often used to remove the uterus, cervix and fallopian tubes when cancer is detected.
Sarcomas, or cancer in the uterine muscle, can appear to be harmless fibroids, delaying diagnosis. The doctor may be unaware that the fibroids are sarcomas, and the morcellator then can spread the cancer to other areas of the body. Patients undergoing any type of uterine surgery should check with their doctors to ensure that there will be no morcellator used in the procedure.
If harmed because of this device, review which parties might be liable with our help.
Liability for Damages Related to Morcellator Use
If you received uterine surgery involving the use of a morcellator and are suffering from metastatic uterine cancer as a result, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.
If your doctor used the device after warnings, he or she may be liable for your damages. This would require filing a medical malpractice suit against the doctor. Discuss whether this may be possible, given the circumstances of your accident with us.
J&J or other manufacturers of the device could be responsible in part or in whole. Holding them liable would require filing a claim under product liability law, which holds manufacturers liable for dangerous products.
If you are successful in pursuing a claim for your injuries, you could recover compensation for additional medical bills you have incurred, lost wages, diminished ability to earn a living, and pain and suffering. Other damages also may be recoverable depending on your case details.
Contact Laparoscopic Morcellator Lawyers
Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can help you file a medical malpractice or product liability claim and can help you figure out which is appropriate for your case. We will advise you of your rights, help you understand the laws affecting your case, and will work with you to gather all necessary evidence and documentation to build your claim or lawsuit. Call us today at (800) 550-0000 or use our contact form to schedule a free case review with us.