Uterine Cancer Lawsuit Lawyer
Matthews & Associates is handling uterine cancer lawsuits for women who developed uterine sarcoma, leiomyosarcoma (LMS), or other cancers following laparoscopic surgery for a hysterectomy with a power morcellator. Laparoscopic surgery for hysterectomy or uterine fibroids is fairly common, but cancer is still not common.
Uterine Fibroids and Cancer
Many hundreds of thousands of women have a hysterectomy – surgical removal of the uterus – or myomectomy (fibroid removal surgery). In tens of thousands of women, a surgical tool called a power morcellator is used to cut the uterus into tiny pieces to vacuum them out. Sometimes fibroids are cancerous; and when they are, the morcellator can spread that cancer around and make matters much worse.
Perhaps one in 350 women who have a hysterectomy to remove fibroids has uterine sarcoma. Some one in 500 women has an aggressive form of cancer called leiomyosarcoma (LMS).
In addition, a morcellator used without a protective surgical bag can leave tissue bits behind. If that tissue contains cancerous cells, the power morcellator can spread cancerous tumor bits throughout the pelvis and abdomen. Risks of spreading cancer are greatly reduced when surgeons use a bag, but the bags are rarely used because they are flimsy and awkward.
FDA Warning: Hysterectomy Cancer Risk
The U.S. FDA published a Safety Warning in April 2014. FDA recommended morcellators not be used in the treatment of uterine fibroids or hysterectomies. the agency wrote:
“If laparoscopic power morcellation is performed in women with unsuspected uterine sarcoma, there is a risk that the procedure will spread the cancerous tissue within the abdomen and pelvis, significantly worsening the patient’s likelihood of long-term survival. For this reason, and because there is no reliable method for predicting whether a woman with fibroids may have a uterine sarcoma, the FDA discourages the use of laparoscopic power morcellation during hysterectomy or myomectomy for uterine fibroids.”
Uterine Cancer Lawsuit
Several women have filed lawsuits which allege the women were never warned about the risk of cancer from a hysterectomy which employed a power morcellator. Many women also allege they were not informed of safer alternatives.
Morcellators were promoted as a pain reducing method that could also speed recovery and reduce scarring. These promotional points might be legitimate in comparison with open abdominal surgery; nevertheless, morcellator benefits are less clear in comparison with alternative, minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedures, especially given their risk of spreading cancer.
According to FDA, alternatives to power morcellation include:
- Surgical hysterectomy through the vagina or abdomen
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy or myomectomy not involving morcellation
- Catheter-based blocking of the uterine artery
- High-intensity focused ultrasound
- Drug therapy
Do I have a Uterine Cancer Lawsuit?
Matthews & Associates is evaluating uterine cancer lawsuits following power morcellation. If you or a loved one contracted uterine cancer or some other cancer after a hysterectomy with a power morcellator, contact our lawyers for a free legal case consultation. Email or call us toll-free at (888) 520-5202.