Senator Bob Casey, Jr., D-Pa. is the third United States Senator to publicly voice his concern regarding power morcellation surgeries in women to the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner. See a copy of Senator Casey’s letter here: SenatorCaseyMorcellatorLtr10.06.14
In a safety communication notice issued on April 17, 2014, the FDA discouraged the use of laparoscopic power morcellation for the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) or uterine fibroids (myomectomy) in women because it poses a risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue. In response, Ethicon suspended distribution of its morcellators; and in July, Ethicon issued a total market withdrawal of the surgical tool. Given the importance of the issue, the FDA held a hearing in July 2014 and has yet to issue its decision on whether to ban the procedure.
The FDA’s warning and Ethicon’s withdrawal of the device has raised serious concerns in the minds of many – especially women who underwent these surgeries and their husbands, children and family members: if power morcellation can spread undetected cancer, that logically there would also be an increased risk of spreading cancer when a morcellator is used in a laparoscopic surgery when cancer is detected.
Casey urges the FDA to “swiftly and closely evaluate the concerns that have been raised, and take any additional action necessary that is appropriate to safeguard the health of the public.” We are hopeful the FDA will issue a directive promptly and will keep you apprised of the progress.
Women are at risk of spreading cancer – whether detected or undetected – through the use of morcellation surgeries. If you or a loved one had surgery with a morcellator, contact a morcellation lawyer to find out if you are eligible for compensation.