Prior to the 1990s, women who had to undergo a hysterectomy had to bear a six-inch incision in her abdomen, as the procedure was an open surgery. The turn of the decade then, however, saw the introduction of power morcellators, a device that was capable of cutting an over-sized uterus and fibroids (or myomas) into small pieces. This medical device paved the way for procedures known as laparoscopic surgeries (including hysterectomy and myomectomy, which is the removal of uterine fibroid or myoma), wherein the power morcellator is used.
Many doctors and patients began to prefer the minimally invasive laparoscopic hysterectomy, over abdominal hysterectomy, as the procedure provided greater benefits, such as shorter period of recovery, less complications, pain and blood loss, and required very small incisions in the abdomen, about 0.5-1cm short.
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, the leading manufacturer of power morcellators, introduced three of the best engineered power morcellators in the market then (through Ethicon, its power morcellator manufacturing division): the Gynecare Morcellex, the Gynecare X-Tract and the Morcellex Sigma.
Like Johnson & Johnson’s other power morcellators, the Morcellex Sigma was carefully designed to provide optimum reliability and performance through smooth and efficient tissue morcellation, as well as faster performance.
Despite unparalleled efficiency, however, Ethicon decided to: suspend its worldwide promotion, sales and distribution of all its power morcellators; order a voluntary market withdrawal of the devices; and, make a request to hospitals to return its power morcellators. This pullback is due to the US Food and Drug Administration’s April 17, 2014, safety alert the discouraged the use of power morcellators in procedures involving removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) or uterine fibroids (myomectomy), as the devices posed the risk of spreading undetected cancerous tissues, particularly uterine sarcomas, beyond the uterus.
Women, who have been treated with a power morcellator in the past and has been diagnosed with uterine cancer, may be qualified to receive compensation from the manufacturer of the harmful device. Claims for damages may include pain and suffering, lifestyle stress, medical costs, wrongful death and others which are recognized by the civil court.
To further know and understand what legal rights and options the victim has, it is necessary that she contacts the morcellator lawsuit lawyers at the National Injury Law Center, whose knowledge and expertise on the issue will allow her to benefit fully from the stipulations of the law.