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Power morcellators: A quick primer

A recent post on this blog discussed the death of a champion for women who were harmed by the use of a power morcellator. This post might have some readers wondering what that is and why women are dying from it.

A power morcellator is a surgical instrument that allowed doctors to do minimally invasive surgery to remove uterine fibroids. It was also used to give hysterectomies. The benefits that were touted included shorter healing times and less pain.

This was a case of something being too good to be true. The device used a series of small blades to chop up the fibroid or the entire uterus. The chunks of tissue could then be suctioned out of the woman's abdominal cavity.

The issue with the procedure is that while the tissue was being sliced up, small bits of tissue were flying around the abdominal cavity. If a woman had an undiagnosed cancer, which is more common than some people might realize, flinging the bits of tissue around the abdominal cavity provided a way for the cancer to spread easily.

The risk of cancer after this procedure was increased considerably; however, some doctors didn't believe this and kept on doing the procedure. Eventually, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took notice of the problem and issued a warning about power morcellation procedures being appropriate only in very specific circumstances.

Women who suffered harm because of this procedure might be facing a death sentence like the woman who recently died. They can face a lifetime of pain and the constant need for medical intervention. This can be costly. It can make the woman's family members upset because they see her in so much pain. Ultimately, it takes her away. Filing a wrongful death, medical malpractice or product liability claim in these cases is possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Power Morcellation Lawsuit Information," accessed June 09, 2017

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