For Colorado women who have been diagnosed with conditions that doctors urge be treated with hysterectomies, careful consideration should be made before undergoing a laparoscopic surgery that uses power morcellation. The procedure has recently come under scrutiny because it may spread cancerous fibroids in the abdomen under certain circumstances. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released information regarding the devices that has drawn attention to many some of dangers associated with the procedure.
There are two operations that typically use the devices, and both are used to treat uterine fibroids. The first is a hysterectomy, which involves the removal of the uterus. The other operation is known as a myomectomy, and that procedure removes uterine fibroids. The use of the power morcellator makes the procedure minimally invasive.
However, if the patient has an undetected uterine sarcoma, the procedure might result in the spread of cancer cells throughout the patient's body, which may dramatically reduce the patient's long-term survival. Data from the FDA suggests that 1 in 350 women who undergo the procedure have a uterine sarcoma, which is a uterine cancer, and there are no methods for testing if a woman who suffers from uterine fibroids also suffers from uterine sarcoma. The regulatory agency has suggested that patients explore other treatments before undergoing a hysterectomy or myomectomy using a power morcellator.
A person who has suffered complications after such an operation but was not informed of the risks or alternative treatments may be able to hold the healthcare provider liable for damages. A medical malpractice lawsuit may result in court-ordered compensation that covers the cost of additional treatment and other losses associated with the incident.
Source: FDA, "UPDATED Laparoscopic Uterine Power Morcellation in Hysterectomy and Myomectomy: FDA Safety Communication", December 02, 2014