The use of morcellators during a laparoscopic hysterectomy or surgery to remove uterine fibroids can potentially spread leiomyosarcoma, an aggressive type of uterine cancer, throughout a woman’s abdomen and pelvis. Lawsuits have already been filed against manufacturers for failing to warn about this safety hazard.
Need a Texas Leiomyosarcoma 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 injured by a power morcellator, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.
March 2014 — Philly.com reports that the family of a woman who died of leiomyosarcoma has filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia. Scott Burkhart alleges that his wife, Donna, underwent a hysterectomy with a power morcellator to treat uterine bleeding in March 2012. According to the complaint, she was not warned “about the possibility of seeding an undiagnosed cancer.” Less than a year later, in February 2013, she died of metastatic leiomyosarcoma at the age of 53.
Doctor with Leiomyosarcoma Campaigns to Ban Morcellators
In October 2013, a husband-and-wife physicians in Boston began a campaign to ban the use of power morcellators in hysterectomies. The couple are both affiliated with Harvard Medical School. The campaign was led by Amy Reed, 41, a Boston anesthesiologist and mother of six, and her husband, cardiothoracic surgeon Hooman Noorchashm.
According to USA Today, she was checked for cancer before her hysterectomy and all tests were negative. She was told that hysterectomy with morcellation was a routine procedure to end bleeding from fibroids. After her surgery, she was diagnosed with uterine leiomyosarcoma. By the time her case made national headlines in March 2014, she had stage-4 leiomyosarcoma and an 85% chance of death within five years.
Did You Have a Hysterectomy or Surgery to Remove Uterine Fibroids?
If you were diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma after a hysterectomy or fibroid surgery using a power morcellator, you are not alone. About 11% of hysterectomies involve power morcellators, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The devices are used in 55,000-75,000 procedures every year.
FDA Warning for Morcellators and Leiomyosarcoma
In April 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a Drug Safety Communication to warn against using power morcellators in hysterectomy or uterine fibroid surgery. They said about 1 in 350 women who undergo the procedure actually have uterine sarcoma, a type of uterine cancer that include leiomyosarcoma.
What is Leiomyosarcoma?
Leiomyosarcoma is a rare but aggressive form of uterine cancer that grows in the endometrial lining or myometrium (inner and middle layers of the uterine wall). The exact cause of this cancer is unknown. The problem is that leiomyosarcoma is very difficult to diagnose — the only way to know for sure is with a biopsy (tissue sample). This is why many cases are not diagnosed until the cancer is difficult to treat.
What is the problem?
Leiomyosarcoma can often be removed surgically. However, when a morcellator is used, it spreads tiny pieces of cancerous tissue throughout a woman’s abdomen and pelvis, which greatly worsens her long-term chances of survival. Click here to read more.
- A lump or swelling
- Abdominal discomfort or bloating
- Swelling or pain in any area of the body
- Bleeding from the vagina in women who have had menopause, or a change in periods for women who have not had menopause
Resources & Additional Information
- Leiomyosarcoma — National Institute of Health (NIH)
- The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative — Learn About Leiomyosarcoma
Need a Leiomyosarcoma Lawyer in Texas?
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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 leiomyosarcoma lawyers for a free lawsuit review.