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Power Morcellation Can Free a Hidden Enemy

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Detroit, MIA laparoscopic power morcellation lawsuit filed last January, while a year old, is nonetheless a worthy representation of the issues involved with the use of power morcellation to bust up uterine fibroids via minimally invasive surgery. Specifically, concern continues to mount over the risk of spreading previously undetected cancer cells within the body, threatening the health of the patient in the process.

In this case, the plaintiff went into the hospital for a hysterectomy and a bilateral salpingectomy - one of the most common treatments for fibroids. Historically, such a procedure at one time involved invasive surgery. However, as modern medicine has moved to less-invasive techniques that require less healing time and an equally smaller draw on hospital resources, power morcellation was soon embraced as a preferred method of treatment.

This is no longer a preferred option, given the havoc power morcellation can wreak, with an impact to health far more devastating than merely a longer convalescence.

The plaintiff in question underwent the hysterectomy and a bilateral salpingectomy by way of power morcellation. It should be noted that prior to the power morcellation procedure, the plaintiff was cancer free.

That wasn’t the case following her treatment. Post-surgery, the patient was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer that subsequently spread into her bones and breasts.

In her laparoscopic power morcellation hysterectomy lawsuit, the plaintiff asserts that the process of morcellation to shred the fibrous tissue for subsequent removal freed previously undetected cancer cells encapsulated with the uterine fibroids, spreading cancer throughout her body.

Some hospitals, at the point during which this started to become an issue, insisted on the use of an abdominal bag to trap and capture both the morcellated fibroid tissue and any potential cancer cells, preventing the potential spread of the undetected cancer. Other hospitals stopped using power morcellators altogether.

Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, pulled its power morcellator from the market. However, other manufacturers have yet to follow suit.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has since determined that power morcellation is no longer the preferred method by which to remove fibroids and has suggested its use is among dangerous medical procedures best avoided.

The power morcellation case referenced here is against Karl Storz Endovision Inc., the manufacturer of the particular power morcellator used in the procedure. The lawsuit, bearing Case No. 2:15-cv-10352-TGB-APP, was filed January 26 of last year in the US District Court for the Eastern Division of Michigan.


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