A New York Woman Taped Her Morcellator Lawsuit Testimony From HospitalA woman from New York has passed away from leiomyosarcoma after filing a lawsuit alleging her cancer was spread by a power morcellator. In early September 2015, a New York woman who filed one of the most recent morcellator lawsuits passed away in her hospital bed. A few days prior, she had taped her testimony for her lawsuit. She was 43 years old.
Her StoryThe plaintiff, a mother of a two-year-old child, had undergone a hysterectomy and bilateral salpingectomy on October 17th, 2014 to treat uterine fibroids. The lawsuit notes that prior to her surgery she “was specifically concerned about ovarian cancer, and verbally communicated her concerns to her surgeon, who duly documented the plaintiff’s concerns.”
Despite her discussion with her doctors, the complaint alleges that no one warned her about the dangers of using a power morcellator during a laparoscopic procedure. She underwent testing prior to her surgery which did not give any indication of uterine cancer, but on October 22nd, 2014, her pathology report returned indicating that she had leiomyosarcoma.
The plaintiff immediately began aggressive chemotherapy but despite this treatment the leiomyosarcoma spread quickly to the right side of her abdomen, pelvis, and lungs.
She filed her lawsuit on July 22nd, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey under case number 2:15-cv-05704-JLL-JAD, naming the morcellator manufacturer, the hospital, and her surgeon as defendants.
The Dangers of the Power MorcellatorThe power morcellator has been used by surgeons around the country since it was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1991. The tool is used to cut and shred unwanted tissue in the body cavity so that it may be removed in smaller pieces. However, the public was unaware that there are dangers associated with the use of a power morcellator during gynecological surgeries.
If a woman has a hysterectomy or myomectomy performed and her uterus or uterine fibroids contain a form of uterine cancer, the morcellator may spread cancer cells to other areas of the body where the cells can take root and grow. Unfortunately, there is currently no test that can definitively diagnose uterine cancer contained within uterine fibroids. The FDA recently estimated that 1 in 350 women undergoing these procedures will have undetected uterine cancer.
The U.S. Government of Accountability Office recently agreed to investigate (http://articles.philly.com/2015-08-09/news/65354618_1_power-morcellator-hooman-noorchashm-uterine) into the FDA’s approval process to determine why the risks associated with the use of a power morcellator took so long to be discovered.