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Posts made in June, 2015

Power Morcellators: Medical Advice Increases Risk of Cancer Spreading

Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Medical Devices | 0 comments

Uterine fibroids are often considered as a primary medical concern among women around 30 to 50 years of age. These non-cancerous tumors grow within the walls of the uterus and can cause several symptoms and complications. Fibroids can cause heavy bleeding during menstruation, longer and more painful menstrual cycles, pelvic and back pain, frequent urination, and enlargement of the lower abdomen. Fibroids can also affect fertility and cause complications during pregnancy and labor. These symptoms don’t usually appear for every patient. However, when they do, the patient has several treatment options.

One option available to women with fibroids is to undergo a laparoscopic procedure to have the growths removed from their uterus. This option significantly reduces the risk of infection and cuts down on a patient’s recovery time. In this procedure, physicians typically make use of a device called power morcellators to cut down the fibroids and make them easier to remove. Morcellators work through the use of a fast-spinning blade that breaks down fibroid tissues so that the tumor can be extracted through smaller incisions. While the device has proven to be quite effective in the extraction of benign growths in the uterus, recent findings show that morcellation isn’t without some significant risk.

Recent developments show the use of power morcellators can exacerbate the spread of uterine cancer in women. This concern was raised by the Food and Drug Administration through a statement issued in 2014. In their report, the FDA pointed out that morcellators can be very dangerous for patients with undiagnosed uterine cancer. The tumors caused by uterine sarcoma, metastatic leiomyosarcoma, and endometrial stromal sarcoma—cancer growths that are all particularly hard to diagnose—have very similar characteristics to fibroids. The fast-spinning blade of power morcellators that break down a malignant tumor will only cause the cancer to spread more easily.

In May 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing into the hazards linked to the use of power morcellators. In particular, they are looking into Johnson & Johnson, the largest manufacturer of the said device. According to the FBI’s on-going investigation, it seems that the pharmaceutical giant has been aware of the potential danger caused by morcellators even before they pulled their products off the market the previous year. This development only bolsters the argument made on the website of Williams Kherkher, emphasizing the fact that medical device manufacturers must be held accountable for dangerous products that fall short and cause devastating outcomes.

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