Three New York Women Die of Cancer Allegedly Spread by Power Morcellator
A New York woman died recently after undergoing a power morcellator surgery to remove seemingly cancer-free fibroids, making her the third in Rochester to suffer a similar fate over the past year.
According to the Democrat and Chronicle, the death occurred on October 31, shortly after another patient died on October 24 after a two-year battle with cancer that was allegedly spread as a result of the procedure. She was only 44 when she died. In September 2013, another woman suffered a similar fate after undergoing a minimally-invasive hysterectomy that used a power morcellator.
Families of these individuals have made similar pleas for a ban on uterine morcellation surgery amid these situations, but to no avail. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has gone as far as issuing a public health alert that warned of the potential for such procedures to spread uterine sarcoma and other cancers outside the uterus and into the peritoneal cavity. This may occur if cancer cells are present in fibroids prior to surgery, but are undetectable by doctors. This may be the case for approximately 1 in every 350 women undergoing fibroid removals, the FDA said in a public health alert on April 17, 2014.
FDA Refuses Power Morcellator Ban
As women continue to come forward alleging the potential for power morcellators to upstage uterine cancer, the FDA has been put under pressure to take action. The federal agency maintained recently though, that they would not be instituting a ban on the devices due to a lack of evidence confirming their association with the upstaging of uterine sarcoma. Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit has decided to not wait for the regulator to remove these products from the market. On July 30th, the company announced a full market withdrawal of its power morcellators, and asked doctors to return any they had already purchased. A few weeks earlier, the FDA’s Obstetrics & Gynecology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee held a two-day meeting to discuss the issue, but remained undecided on whether they pose serious harm to women.
A number of women have also gone on to file power morcellator lawsuits. One such case was filed in October on behalf of a woman who allegedly developed seven cancerous tumors in her abdomen after undergoing a minimally-invasive fibroid removal surgery.
Contact a Power Morcellator Lawyer
Call our Firm for more information about power morcellator lawsuits. You may be eligible to file a case of your own: (877) 779-1414.