Warning About Device Used In Hysterectomy And Myomectomy Procedures

By September 30, 2014Health News, Features

Editor’s note: We were sent this story by Judy Cohen, Outreach Coordinator at the American Recall Center, informing us of the risk of Power Morcellation, a device used in hysterectomy and myomectomy procedures.

After doing a bit of research we found that the Canadian Government had issued an alert about this: Laparoscopic Electric Morcellators – Risk of Spread of Unsuspected Uterine Sarcoma – Notice to Hospitals

So we decided to run the press release from the American Recall Center and we thank Judy Cohen for ensuring this information is brought to the attention of Canadian women as well. In Judy’s own words: “With September being National Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month, we have an opportunity to raise awareness for this potentially life-threatening device. As I can clearly see from your site, you are connected to a number of women who could certainly benefit from this information. I know a post on your site could help educate hundreds of women on this device and possibly save a life in the process.”

There are 17,000 women living with ovarian cancer in Canada. It is estimated that this year in Canada, 2,600 women will be newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the 5th most common cancer for women and is the most fatal women’s cancer.
*(source: Canadian Cancer Society, 2013)

For more information on Ovarian Cancer, please click here.
If you have ovarian cancer and are looking for support group information, please click here.

Here is the press release:

Power Morcellation: What Women Should Know

September marks our calendars as Gynecological Cancer Awareness month. Every year, nearly 20,000 women in the United States alone are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Recently, a surgical device known as a power morcellator, which is used in hysterectomy and myomectomy procedures, has come under scrutiny for unintentionally accelerating certain types of cancer in the uterus. Because of the potential health risks, the FDA issued a warning regarding the safety of this device. In April 2014, the FDA labeled the morcellator device as dangerous because it can act as a catalyst for increasing the number of cancerous cells located in the body. The FDA publicized the warning across medical and advocacy communities alike. One of the largest manufacturers of the device, Johnson & Johnson, voluntarily requested that all power morcellators be returned to the company.

The Device

Power morcellators are commonly used in laparacopic surgeries. Hysterectomies and myomectomies are among the most commonly performed surgeries with this medical device. Its function is to cut or divide tissues into fragments, relying on rotating blades attached to a tubular apparatus to complete the procedure. Once the fragments are sectioned off, they are suctioned out of the body.

The Problem

This procedure carries hidden risks to the patient. Women most at risk by using this device are those with undetected leiomyosarcoma (LMS), a rare type of gynecological cancer. The rotation of the blades can spread the sarcoma cells through the pelvic region, increasing the number of cancerous cells in the uterus. The FDA recently held a hearing in July to explore the risks of using power morcellators in these common surgical procedures. Doctors are currently being advised to use the most appropriate procedure when treating gynecological patients.

What to Consider

The FDA advises patients considering a hysterectomy or myomectomy to weigh all options available to them with their physician. If a laparoscopic procedure is recommended, the patient should inquire as to whether or not a power morcellator will be used. Women who have the procedure are advised to be vigilant in following up with their doctor if symptoms persist.

Click here to learn more about the Power Morcellator Lawsuit



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