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What is a power morcellator?
A power morcellator is a surgical tool that allows surgeons to remove fibroids and other uterine tissue through incisions of less than 2 centimeters. The morcellator’s spinning blade cuts the tissue into tiny pieces which are then extracted through the small incisions.
What procedures are done with power morcellators?
In women, hysterectomies (removal of the uterus) and myomectomies (removal of fibroids) may be performed using a power morcellator. Power morcellators may also be used in other laparoscopic surgeries, like nephrectomy (kidney removal) and splenectomy (removal of the spleen).
Why has the FDA warned doctors not to use power morcellators in hysterectomies or myomectomies?
Sometimes — the FDA estimates 1 in 350 cases — the woman undergoing a hysterectomy or fibroid removal also has an unknown sarcoma — a uterine cancer. While power morcellators make it easier to remove uterine fibroids or the entire uterus, the tool does not remove all tissue. The blade of the morcellator sprays the tissue throughout the abdomen and pelvis. If the woman has an undetected cancer, the use of the power morcellator spreads the cancerous tissue, worsening the patient’s likelihood of long-term survival.
How often are power morcellators used?
Prior to 2015 an estimated 50,000 to 75,000 hysterectomies were done per year using power morcellators. Morcellators are also used in myomectomies, the removal of fibroids. The FDA Advisory Panel found that up to 80% of women will have fibroids during their lifetime.
What are the symptoms of uterine sarcoma?
If you have undergone hysterectomy or myomectomy with a power morcellator, be on the alert for spotting, abnormal vaginal bleeding, or unusual vaginal discharge between menstrual periods or after menopause. Other symptoms include an unusual feeling of fullness in the pelvic area, frequent urination, and pain.
What can you do?
If you have experienced symptoms after undergoing surgery with a power morcellator, seek medical attention immediately. If you have been diagnosed with sarcoma after power morcellation and would like legal advice, contact the experienced medical device attorneys at Thornton Law Firm. Call 1-888-341-1405 and ask to speak with Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick, or tell us your story using our online form. Power morcellator claims have short time limits, so do not delay seeking legal advice. The consultation is free and completely confidential.