A New York surgeon who weighed in on a report last May that defended power morcellator surgery was being paid by a device manufacturer around the time of its publication, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

A former president of the group that released the guidance, which was formerly known as the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, said in a May 7th e-mail that such ties presented a conflict of interest. Given the “potential press involvement in dissecting COIs of our board members in relation to morcellation, I am shocked the organization would allow their own policies to be ‘flexible,” he voiced to its executive director and medical director, the Journal reported on February 17th. In the report, the AAGL assured women that uterine morcellation “remains safe when performed by experienced, high-volume surgeons.”

FDA Issues Two Power Morcellator Alerts in 2014

These assertions conflict with a warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April that told women about the possible risks of this surgery, which may include the potential for power morcellators to spread uterine sarcoma and other cancers into other parts of the body. According to the alert, 1 in every 350 women may have undiagnosed cancer cells embedded in the uterus prior to surgery, which may disseminate into other areas of the body via blades that aggressively cut up uterine tissue in laparoscopic fibroid removals and hysterectomies.

That July, an earlier president of the AAGL removed himself from an FDA panel that met to discuss the issue that month after it was discovered that he also was being paid consulting fees by a power morcellator manufacturer.

The Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ethicon announced later that month its decision to remove power morcellators from the market. This was a follow-up to the company’s original sales halt of its devices that occurred after the FDA’s first warning in April.

On November 24th, the federal agency released its most recent power morcellator alert that said the devices should not be used in the majority of women. Following the FDA’s numerous health alerts, a number of power morcellator lawsuits have been filed in the U.S.

Consider a Power Morcellator Lawsuit

Call an attorney at our Firm for more about the process of filing a power morcellator lawsuit. Contact us today at (877) 779-1414.

Published February 17, 2015 by