Power morcellators are designed to remove noncancerous growths from the uterus. Doctors insert the devices through small incisions and use them to cut, shred, and eventually remove pieces of tissue. Power morcellation is used in various gynecologic surgeries, namely hysterectomies and myomectomies. Unfortunately, power morcellation has been linked to the spread of cancerous tissue and undiagnosed tumors, worsening the life expectancy of patients with uterine sarcoma.
An increasing number of gynecologic surgeries have been performed using this technique, because it is minimally invasive, reduces bleeding and scarring, requires a shorter hospital stay, and demands less recovery time. It is less invasive, because it essentially shreds the uterus or fibroid so that it can be removed through a smaller incision rather than making a large incision and removing it whole. However, when this process is used, undiagnosed tumors or cancerous tissue, specifically relating to uterine sarcoma, that were contained before power morcellation was performed, can be shredded and spread throughout the uterus and pelvis. According to the Food and Drug Administration, doctors routinely use power morcellators in thousands of procedures every year, and 1 in 350 women could be at risk of developing cancer due to the spread of previously undiagnosed cancer during surgery.
There are not always obvious warning signs for uterine sarcoma; however, if you are experiencing any or all of the following symptoms, you should consult your primary care physician.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding and/or discharge
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent urination
Many women who have undergone surgery where power morcellation was used were not adequately warned of the risk associated with the procedure. The companies that manufacture power morcellators have a duty to consumers to properly warn them of the harmful side effects associated with using this procedure. In many cases, this has not been done.
If you or a family member were diagnosed with cancer following a surgery where power morcellation was used and believe the two to be related, call us. The product liability attorneys at Roberts and Roberts have the expertise and skill to get you the help you deserve. The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything.