While Power Morcellator Lawsuits Allege Spread of Uterine Cancer, Hysterectomies By Power Morcellation Decline


As Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits Allege Spread of Uterine Cancer, Study Shows Hysterectomies By Power Morcellation Decline After FDA Warning

Power Morcellator Lawsuits-Uterine-CancerWhile some power morcellator lawsuits allege the spread of undetected uterine cancer being are settled, a new study found power morcellation surgeries have decreased. Researchers attribute the decline to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) warning in 2014 that laparoscopic power morcellators used during laporaroscopic surgeries have the potential to spread uterine cancer, including leiomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Some women who developed uterine cancer after surgery have filed power morcellator lawsuits against the manufacturers of the power morcellators used during their surgery.

Southern Med Law and its founder, Dr. François Blaudeau, were the first to file a federal power morcellator lawsuits in March 2014, before the FDA’s first warning in April 2014. The morcelaltion cancer lawsuit against LiNA Medical APS, Kebomed AG and LiNA Medical USA was settled in 2015. Since then, Southern Med Law filed and settled 10 lawsuits against Ethicon, Inc., on behalf of women who developed cancer after undergoing a surgery in which Ethicon’s morcellator was used.

The study used a database of 203,520 women who underwent a hysterectomy from 2013 to the first quarter of 2015. Among women who underwent a minimally invasive hysterectomy, power morcellation was used in 13.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013, and 13.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. By the first quarter of 2015, two months after the FDA’s issued its second warning, power morcellation use dropped to 2.8 percent. Additionally, researchers found the rate of abdominal hysterectomy increased and complications surrounding this type of surgery declined. This finding contradicts claims by some who criticized the FDA’s move and predicted that limiting power morcellator use would force women to have more invasive surgeries and more complications, The Wall Street Journal reported. The study was published in the August 23, 2016 issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)
[wsj.com/articles/no-rise-seen-in-hysterectomy-complications-after-morcellator-use-declines-1471964665, The Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2016]

“It appears that many surgeons heeded the FDA’s warnings and discussed the potential power morcellation cancer risks with their patients,” says Dr. Blaudeau, a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Ethicon Multidistrict Litigatin (MDL) pending in the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas. (In Re: Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation–MDL No. 2652)

Laparoscopic power morcellators are used in minimally invasive hysterectomies and myomectomies (uterine fibroid removal) to shred uterine tissue for removal through small incisions in the abdomen. Complications occur when cancer cells hidden in the uterine tissue are spread by the power morcellator. In 2014, the FDA issued two public safety warnings against the use of power morcellators due to the cancer risks. After the warning, Johnson & Johnson removed morcellators made by its Ethicon Inc. subsidiary from the global market. Hospitals also restricted the use of power morcellators and some health insurers announced that they would not pay for a procedure in which the device was used.
[fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm424443.htm, FDA, November 24, 2014]
[wsj.com/articles/no-rise-seen-in-hysterectomy-complications-after-morcellator-use-declines-1471964665, The Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2016]

Court documents in power morcellator lawsuits show a request was made to dissolve the MDL for Ethicon cancer lawsuits in the federal district court in Kansas since Ethicon has settled most of the 42 pending complaints. The morcellator cancer complaints have been consolidated for coordinated pretrial proceedings. However, morcellator manufacturers, including Ethicon, still face individual lawsuits filed on behalf of women that allege the companies failed to adequately warn doctors and their patients about the cancer risk associated with use of their laparoscopic power morcellators during surgery.

About Southern Med Law And Filing A Power Morcellator Cancer Lawsuit

Southern Med Law is a full service law firm representing victims of negligence, personal injuries, medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, faulty medical devices and defective products. Led by Dr. François Blaudeau, an attorney and a practicing obstetrician/ gynecologist, and the legal staff at Southern Med Law possesses a deep understanding of the complex medical and legal questions at issue in all manner of power morcellators. They are not afraid to take on the manufacturers to make them accountable and enable all of their clients to have the aggressive legal representation they deserve.

Southern Med Law
François M. Blaudeau, MD JD FACHE FCLM Esquire
2224 1st Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Phone: 205-547-5525
Fax: 205-547-5526

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