Gynecologists Dismiss FDA Warnings about Power Morcellator Ties to Uterine Cancer
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s repeated warning about power morcellator problems has not resonated in many of the country’s gynecologists, who continue to use the device in minimally-invasive hysterectomies, the Wall Street Journal reports.
An article on September 21st notes the many U.S. doctors who are still incorporating the device in fibroid removal surgeries, despite growing concerns about its potential to spread uterine cancer. One Dallas gynecologist estimates that he performs 80 percent of his hysterectomies via uterine morcellation; a procedure type he defends vigorously. The 58-year old practitioner also speculates about whether the FDA’s warnings are unfounded. “It’s none of their business,” he said, before pointing to power morcellator benefits.
The doctor references one patient in particular, who underwent a fibroid removal procedure this month, and has since recovered. She initially wanted to have a vaginal hysterectomy, but was swayed after hearing about the supposed pros of power morcellation. But that’s not to say the Texas doctor didn’t tell her, and other patients about the potential negatives of laparoscopic surgery.
“We tell them verbally that we don’t think those numbers are correct,” he said of the FDA’s estimations about power morcellation. According to the federal agency’s public alert on April 14, 2014, 1 in every 350 women having fibroids removed may have undiagnosed uterine cancer prior to surgery. Malignant cells may only be discovered after fibroids are removed and biopsied, at which time the disease could have already spread outside the uterus and into the peritoneal cavity, the notice indicated.
Doctors Consider FDA Warning on Power Morcellators
While some doctors remain steadfastly in favor of uterine morcellation surgeries, others have since heeded the FDA’s advice to suspend their use. According to the Journal, the program director at Monmouth Medical Center in New Jersey first thought the government was overstating the negatives of this procedure, but says he now agrees that it should be stopped until a full safety review is conducted.
“What you do about it is: You stop,” he said. “People want to fight back, but it’s not putting patients’ safety first. It’s not worth playing Russian roulette with the patient.”
Over the past several months, a number of lawsuits have been filed by women whose uterine sarcoma and other cancers allegedly spread as a result of uterine morcellation. These cases are now pending in courts throughout the U.S.
Consider a Power Morcellator Lawsuit
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