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Cancer risk concerns continue to gain as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calls for a stricter warning or ban on J&J’s Ethicon Power Morcellators and other surgical devices used in Hysterectomies and Myomectomies.

A study by Columbia University estimates that 1 of every 368 women has undetected cancer at the time of their hysterectomy. According to the agency, the risk is even greater, that 1 in 350 woman may have unsuspected uterine sarcoma. If the women undergo a surgical procedure that uses a power morcellator device, the cancerous cells could spread, putting her at further risk of developing an aggressive form of cancer known as uterine sarcoma.

What is power morcellation?

A power morcellator is a surgical tool used in several laparoscopic procedures. With Laparoscopic power morcellation being one of numerous treatments available for fibroids (non-cancerous tumors that develop in the uterus). During the procedure the device – which has rotating blades – is used to separate the uterine tissue into smaller pieces so it can be suctioned through a small incision made into the abdomen of the patient.

If you or a loved one has developed cancer after undergoing a hysterectomy, you should contact an attorney that specializes in defective medical devices.

The devices are a product of Ethicon, a division of J&J. In 2014, amid reports of the potential risk, the medical giant suspended the distribution of these devices. By July all devices were recalled but concerns date as far back as 2006.

“Dr. Robert Lamparter contacted the manufacturer to report patients developing cancer after use of the device. He was told, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Business Times, that a warning would be added to the device. It was never added, and the doctor’s concerns were later discounted by the manufacturer according to the article.”

Agency recommendations for Women

Medical options should be directed to your health care professional so the risks can be weighed against the benefits of having this procedure.

If a laparoscopic hysterectomy or myomectomy, if recommended by your doctor, ask if power morcellation will be performed during the procedure and why that method is being chosen. It is imperative that you act as your own advocate by asking questions and research before your procedure.

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