In April 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the risk of a morcellation hysterectomy spreading undetected uterine cancer into a woman’s abdomen and pelvis.
Power morcellators are used in more than 50,000 minimally invasive hysterectomies each year to slice the uterus into tiny fragments that can be easily removed through a small laparoscopic incision.
In the event a uterine fibroid is actually an undetected sarcoma,the patient is at risk of the cancer spreading during morcellation. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA),about one in 368 women have an undetected sarcoma that can be upstaged during morcellation.
Neither the FDA nor Johnson & Johnson(J&J)have issued an official morcellator recall, but J&J did announce a worldwide withdrawal of all Ethicon morcellators shortly after JAMA published the study about morcellation cancer risks.
The FDA is advising doctors to avoid using morcellators during hysterectomies and carefully consider all other treatment options. The agency is urging women considering a hysterectomy to discuss all available treatment options to determine which treatment is right for them. The FDA is also recommending that all women who have undergone a morcellation hysterectomy contact their doctor to schedule a routine follow-up visit.
Women who were diagnosed with cancer after a morcellation hysterectomy may be eligible to file a morcellation lawsuit and should contact a lawyer.