A South Carolina man and woman have filed a power morcellator lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit. The couple claims that Johnson & Johnson’s device caused the woman to develop uterine fibroid cancer when it spread unsuspected cancerous tissue throughout her abdomen during a myomectomy procedure.
Power morcellators are a type of medical instrument used in minimally invasive, or laparoscopic, surgery to cut up large masses of tissue into extractable pieces. Power morcellators are especially popular in hysterectomies, and are considered an important tool for minimally invasive extraction of malignant uterine fibroids. However, the devices are now falling out of favor due to mounting evidence that they may spread cancer in patients treated with them. Power morcellators like those manufactured by Johnson & Johnson are currently under investigation by the FBI.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert in April 2014, in which the agency explicitly urged surgeons not to employ power morcellators in hysterectomies or myomectomies for uterine fibroids because the device may spread unsuspected cancerous tissue to other areas of the body. Later that year, a Columbia University study estimated that 1 in 368 women have undiscovered uterine cancer when they undergo a gynecological procedure. As a result, surgeons may unknowingly be spreading cancer in thousands of female patients each year.
The South Carolina woman initially went in for a myomectomy procedure in May 2012, in which an Ethicon robotic powered morcellator was used to remove dysfunctional uterine fibroids. In September 2013, after complaining of intense pain in her abdomen, the woman returned for another power morcellator procedure, during which more problematic uterine fibroids were found and extracted. In 2014, the woman was diagnosed with uterine fibroid cancer. The South Carolina couple alleges that the cancer only developed after the power morcellator procedures spread unsuspected cancerous tissue throughout the woman’s abdomen. They are seeking damages from Johnson & Johnson through a power morcellator lawsuit.
Power morcellator lawsuits have been filed by women across the country who have been diagnosed with cancer after surgery involving a power morcellator. Plaintiffs in power morcellator lawsuits claim that manufacturers, such as Johnson & Johnson, knew of the health risks posed by their devices but failed to properly warn doctors and patients, in some cases hiding important medical information.
Always consult your doctor about any health concerns you may have. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer after undergoing a power morcellator procedure, contact Lopez McHugh today to speak free of charge with one of our experienced power morcellator attorneys. You may be eligible to receive compensation through a power morcellator lawsuit.