The United States Food and Drug Administration issued a safety warning discouraging doctors from using laparoscopic Power Morcellators in April 2014 after current available data was linking use of the device to the cause of uterine cancer. According to the FDA, 1 out of 350 women developed uterine cancer after a hysterectomy or myomectomy procedure was performed on them using a mocellator.
Morcellators are thought to be as less invasive surgical alternative to traditional surgical procedures. The device is used to grind away uterine growths, such as tumors and fibroids, and to perform hysterectomies. But in July 2014, government health officials confirmed the dangers associated with these devices which lead healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson to suspend selling the surgical device. Other healthcare giants that produce power morcellators have also halted selling these products until the product’s efficacy and safety can be determined. Although the FDA has not issued a ban on morcellators from the market, these tools are considered to be extremely dangerous.
As of November 2014, the Food and Drug Administration issued an Immediately in Effect (IIE) guideline to manufacturers of these devices to add a boxed warning on morcellator labels. This warning states; “may spread cancer and decrease the long-term survival of patients.”
The first morcellators were introduced in the ’90’s and since then, about 50,000 procedures have been performed using the tool. It is the preferred option as it allows for faster patient recovery; however, when used, the power morcellator will grind fibroid tissue in the body, which raises concerns because further analysis has linked fibroid tissue to the development of cancerous tumors.
The manufacturers of dangerous products like the power morcellator may be held responsible for these defective devices. Patients may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, loss of income and funeral expenses for the families of patients who have died after one of these devices was used during a medical procedure.