In April 2014, the FDA issued a safety communication regarding thespread of uterine cancer after having laparoscopic surgery performed with a power morcellator. Power morcellators are surgical instruments used to break up and remove masses during hysterectomies, fibroid removal, and other laparoscopic surgeries.
Morcellator tubes have blades at the end of the tube that slice up fibroids or other tissue. Pincers then grab the tissue and pull it into the shaft. Although most fibroids are benign, when unsuspected cancer cells are present, there is a chance those cells can spread if the power morcellator does not remove all of the cancerous tissue. If the tissue is malignant, cancer may spread.
The FDA estimates 1 in 350 women undergoing surgical treatment for fibroids has unsuspected cancerous cells that cannot be reliably detected before surgery. The five-year survival rate for cancer confined to the uterus is 50%. The five-year survival rate for uterine cancer that is spread is 20% or less.
Murphy & Prachthauser, sc, is currently investigating cases involving women who have had laparoscopic surgery on uterine fibroids and have cancer. If you would like further information, please contact attorney Tea Norfolk.