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A morcellator is a surgical instrument used for division and removal of large masses of tissues during laparoscopic surgery. In laparoscopic hysterectomy the uterus is minced up, or morcellated, into smaller pieces inside the woman’s belly cavity in order to extract from the abdomen. It can consist of a hollow cylinder that penetrates the abdominal wall, ending with sharp edges or cutting jaws, through which a grasper can be inserted to pull the mass into the cylinder to cut out an extractable piece.
Some women whose surgeons used power morcellators discovered later that they had cancer. In many cases, the cancer was aggressive and diagnosed at a late stage. These women sought justice by filling lawsuits against manufacturers.
Power morcellators remove noncancerous growths, typically uterine fibroids, from the uterus and that surgeons use when performing hysterectomies and certain kidney and spleen surgeries. Doctors insert these devices through small incisions and remove tissue after cutting and shredding it.
Unfortunately, the morcellators also have a risk factor. The devices can put women at increased risk for a number of deadly uterine cancers, including a rare and aggressive type called leiomyosarcoma.
According to the FDA, doctors use these devices in thousands of hysterectomies a year, and 1 in 350 women may be at risk for cancer development because they have undiagnosed cancer that may spread after the surgery. In some cases, men can be affected. Their procedures usually involve the kidney or spleen, but the disease-spreading complication is the same. Morcellators can spread previously undetected cancers into the abdomen.
The devices also spread benign tissues throughout the abdominal cavity, where they can grow on other organs, causing pain, bowel obstruction and infection.
Power Morcellator Risks and Side Effects
The inherent risk of power morcellation is the dissemination of the broken-up tissue. Benign tissue can become implanted on abdominal structures and organs, resulting in conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis, and adenomyosis, potentially requiring further surgery. Furthermore, power morcellators can spread malignant tissue from an undiagnosed uterine cancer, including leiomyosarcoma, endometrial stromal sarcoma, carcinosarcoma, and endometrial adenocarcinoma, and significantly worsen a patient’s prognosis from treatable to deadly.
Potential lawsuits are being reviewed by our morcellation cancer lawyers for women throughout the United States who have been diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma (LMS), endometrial stromal sarcoma or other uterine cancer diagnosed following a: Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy Robotic Hysterectomy Laparoscopic Myomectomy (Uterine Fibroid Removal)
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