When doctors use power morcellators to save time during hysterectomies and fibroid surgeries, they may accidentally spread undiagnosed endometrial stromal sarcoma and greatly worsen a patient’s long-term prognosis.
Need a Texas Morcellator Injury Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with endometrial stromal sarcoma after surgery with a power morcellator, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.
Power morcellators are electric-powered surgical tools that are used in laparoscopic (minimally-invasive) surgeries. They use spinning blades to grind up tissues, which are sucked out of the body through tiny incisions. Until recently, morcellators were used in 55,000-75,000 hysterectomies and fibroid surgeries every years.
What is the problem?
In April 2014, the FDA warned against using morcellators in uterine surgery due to the risk of spreading undiagnosed cancer. The FDA estimated that 1 in 350 women who has a hysterectomy or fibroid surgery actually has undiagnosed uterine sarcoma, which is a rare type of uterine cancer that includes endometrial stromal sarcoma.
Case Report Links Morcellator Surgery and Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma
November 2010 — Obstetrics & Gynecology has published a case report of a 30 year-old woman who had a hysterectomy to treat fibroids.
Her uterus was removed with a power morcellator, and tissue samples tested positive for endometrial stromal sarcoma. Two months later, she underwent another surgery and doctors found low-grade cancer in her ovary, fallopian tube, and ovarian artery. Doctors concluded that morcellation of fibroids could potentially spread tumors.
What is Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma?
Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma is a cancer that occurs in the connective tissues of the uterus. Unlike highly-aggressive leiomyosarcoma, it tends to be slow-growing. It occurs in less than 0.2% of all uterine cancers.
Although endometrial stromal sarcoma is slow-growing, symptoms are usually mild in the early stages. This can delay diagnosis until it is very difficult to treat — especially in young patients, who are highly likely to be misdiagnosed with a fibroid.
Symptoms of endometrial stromal sarcoma:
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Long or heavy bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Swelling in the pelvis
- Bleeding between menstrual cycles or after menopause
- Large fibroids
There is no reliable way to diagnose endometrial stromal sarcoma besides surgery to remove a tissue sample (biopsy) and have a pathologist examine it under a microscope. The tissue may be tested to see if the cancer cells have estrogen/progesterone receptors, which are found on many endometrial stromal sarcomas, according to the American Cancer Society.
Surgical treatment typically includes total removal of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. For high-grade cancer, treatments may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.
Need a Morcellator Injury Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas morcellator injury lawyers for a free lawsuit review.