According to sources nearly 90% of the morcellator hysterectomy cancer lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit have been settled.
Cancer ridden women afflicted with leimyosarcoma, an aggressive form of uterine cancer and their families filed personal injury and defective product liability lawsuits. The injured women claimed that the cancer spread by a surgical tool used during laparoscopic hysterectomy or urterine fibroid removal procedures.
Links between laparoscopic power morcellators and cancer have triggered lawsuits throughout the United States just as the FDA issued a recall on three Johnson and Johnson devices.
The FDA and doctors were alarmed about the safety of surgical procedures that use power morcellators. These devices have been proven to be effective in some minimally invasive surgeries. But when they are used to break up uterine fibroid tumors or in some kidney and spleen surgeries, they tend to spread cells that lead to malignant tumors in men and women.
Metastatic leiomyosarcoma, a type of uterine cancer, that can develop in women as a result of the power morcellators.
J&J Ethicon Multidistrict Litigation
Approximately 42 product liability lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Courts against Ethicon, which was the leading manufacturer of power morcellators, and a multidistrict litigation (MDL) was formed to coordinate pretrial proceedings for the cases in October 2015. The Ethicon MDL litigation is centralized before U.S. District Judge Kathyryn H. Vratil in the District of Kansas.
In 2014 the FDA issued a safety alert in response to reports of links between power morcellators and cancers. The alert from the FDA discouraged the use of such instruments to remove fibroids or the uterus in women.
What are Power Morcellators?
Surgeons use power morcellators in hysterectomies and other minimally invasive procedures to remove uterine fibroids, called myomectomies. The benefits of using power morcellators in these procedures was that it involved less time in the operating room, a shorter recovery time, and less blood loss by the patient.
How does Morcellator spread Cancer?
Power morcellators use spinning blades to grind up the uterus, making it easier to remove during laparoscopic surgery. The blades on the power morcellators can spread bits of uterine or fibroid tissue through the pelvis and abdomen. These bits of tissue can stick to other tissue and organs then begin to grow.
Some symptoms that might signal cancer after going through a procedure where morcellators were used include:
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting, between periods or especially after menopause
- Abdominal or pelvic pain or a mass
Abdominal or pelvic swelling
If you or a loved were diagnosed with uterine cancer following a procedure that involved power morcellators, contact us to find out if you have a case against the makers of the device. Our office handles power morcellators lawsuits throughout the United States against J&J Ethicon, and other manufacturers of similar devices, including Karl Storz, Richard Wolf Medical Instruments, and Gyrus ACMI.