What are Morcellators?

According to Williams Kherkher, power morcellators were developed to remove fibroids and other noncancerous growths during a hysterectomy or a myomectomy. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a hysterectomy is surgery to remove the uterus, a very common type of surgery for women in the United States. Resembling a drill, a power morcellator divided these masses into smaller pieces and then removing them from the abdomen. While medical professionals saw these devices as a way to perform these procedures in a minimally invasive way, a link between morcellators and cancer development was soon shown.

Although morcellators are suited to remove noncancerous tissue, the device can spread cancerous tissue into other regions of the body when breaking down a mass. Unfortunately, many women can develop more severe cancers as a result of the procedure.  Some of the most common forms of cancer that can result from surgery involving a morcellator include metastatic leiomyosarcoma, uterine cancer, uterine sarcoma, and endometrial stromal sarcoma.  In fact, the rates of women developing cancer following a morcellator surgery could be as high as 1 in every 370 surgeries.  Using a power morcellator can also cause an individual to develop abnormal tissue growth and cause direct harm to otherwise healthy tissue.

With such troubling findings, the FDA issued a black box warning to doctors in 2014 to not use power morcellators because of the extreme dangers associated with them.  While the device has been voluntarily recalled by the makers Johnson & Johnson, the FDA has not issued an official recall yet.  Unfortunately, many of these warnings came too late for many women who had developed devastating cancers.  Many individuals seek financial restitution in the form a lawsuit against the makers of morcellators because the life-changing effects of the device are often too severe to undo.