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Shezad Malik MD JD
Shezad Malik MD JD
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California Hysterectomy Morcellator Uterine Cancer Lawsuit

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The makers of the Wolf Power Morcellator has been sued by a California woman. The woman filed a product liability lawsuit alleging that during a laparoscopic hysterectomy she developed metastatic leiomyosarcoma cancer.

J&J Ethicon Morcellator Cancer AttorneySarah Salem-Robinson and her husband, filed their claim in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on May 13, against Richard Wolf Medical Instruments Corporation.

Hysterectomy, Fibroids and Morcellators

Several hysterectomy cancer lawsuits have been recently filed against the manufacturers of power morcellators. These medical devices are used during laparoscopic procedures to cut the uterus into tiny pieces that can be removed through minimally invasive surgery.

Unfortunately power morcellators can cause devastating injuries, if there is an undiagnosed sarcoma in the uterus, the device could cause the cancer to be spread throughout the abdomen, pelvis and other organs including the liver, lungs and brain.

Plaintiff Allegations: Leiomyosarcoma Metastatic Cancer

According to Salem-Robinson, a Wolf Power Morcellator was used during her hysterectomy in 2012. Her doctors did not know that her uterus contained leiomyosarcoma (LMS), which was spread through her abdominal cavity by the use of the morcellator.

After the hysterectomy, Salem-Robinson was diagnosed with metastatic LMS cancer, and she is suing Wolf for negligence, strict products liability, breach of warranty, and fraud.

FDA: Morcellation Hysterectomy Cancer Risks

Laparoscopy-assisted hysterectomy (LASH) is a gynecological procedure for removal of uterine fibroids. The minimallly invasive procedures require use of power morcellators to cut the uterus and fibroids into very small pieces.

In April, the FDA issued a public safety communication that urged doctors to avoid using power morcellators for fibroid removal. This warning came after reports of patients diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma and other uterine cancers during laparoscopic hysterectomy procedures.

The FDA reported that one out of every 350 women who undergo laparoscopic hysterectomy or uterine fibroid removal has undiagnosed cancerous sarcoma cells. The agency warned that use of power morcellators carries an unreasonable risk of spreading the cancer and reducing the long-term survival.

Morcellator Manufacturers Knew or Should Have Known of Cancer Risks

The women affected with advanced uterine cancers claim that adequate warnings were not provided and Wolf and other manufacturers including Johnson and Johnson Ethicon failed to make the devices safe.

Salem-Robinson alleges that Wolf Corporation failed to conduct adequate testing on the risk of power morcellators spreading uterine cancer, claiming that information was concealed from the FDA, National Institutes of Health and the doctors.

Following the FDA warnings last month, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary announced that it has halted sales of morcellators until it can determine if there is a safe way to use them for uterine fibroid removal.

4 Comments

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  1. Peggy Lussier says:
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    Thank you. Wishing you all the best, Sarah! Stay well and god bless you!

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    This could so easily have been me (“Surprise! That wasn’t a fibroid; it was ULMS”) and so many other women that I have now met in Cancerland. Uterine sarcomas look like fibroids. Thank you for covering this story. And great bouquets of gratitude to Sarah Salem-Robinson and other women and their families for bringing suit to stop this dangerous practice.

  3. rike weiss says:
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    Sarah, thank you for going to bat for all women.
    Rike

  4. Julia Smith Otis says:
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    Im in the same boat, good luck.