Each year over 600,000 women undergo the routine surgery that removes the uterus. This process, called a hysterectomy, is fairly quick and can help to alleviate the pain and discomfort that the patient is experiencing. While many women undergo the procedure because they are in a lot of pain, some do so because they have been diagnosed with uterine cancer. This cancer manifests itself in two forms: endometrial and sarcoma. While sarcoma uterine cancer is much rarer, it is also much deadlier. |
Hysterectomy By Morcellation
In the mid 1900’s a medical device called a power morcellator found FDA approval. This simple device is essentially a cutting blade at the end of a long tube. Through a laparoscopic incision the surgeon can cut away the uterus, grind it into pieces, and extract it from the body. The method is faster, less painful, and allows for a much quicker patient recovery. However, the process has one serious downfall: it can lead to spreading uterine cancer around the abdomen.
Amy Reed’s Story
Amy Reed was an anesthesiologist in Boston, MA. This rising star was just 40 years old and building a great reputation as a fantastic doctor; she even helped to treat victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing. In October 2013 her uterus started to act up causing her a lot of discomfort. She opted to have it removed. Since a laparoscopic surgery has a recovery time of just 2 weeks, as opposed to 4 – 6 for a traditional open-abdomen surgery, this is the route that Amy chose. During a woman’s lifetime her uterus develops fibroids on the smooth muscles. These benign tumors are mostly harmless; generally causing just mild discomfort if anything. However, sometimes these fibroids become cancerous. The leiomyosarcoma, or cancerous fibroid, can lie dormant for many years and may not even spread. However, when Amy had her surgery with the use of a power morcellator, those cancerous fibroids were ground up, and the cancer cells were spread throughout her abdomen. When the cancer cells were ground and spread throughout the abdomen, it triggered their growth. Amy is now facing an 80% chance that her cancer has spread throughout the region. Instead of eliminating her discomfort and reducing her chance of uterine cancer, it is now likely that Amy will pass away within 5 years. You can read her whole story on the Wall Street Journal.
Power Morcellation Attorney
If you have undergone a hysterectomy, either full or partial, with the use of a morcellator, and you have experienced a spread in cancer that was once dormant, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the company that made the morcellator. These companies have a responsibility to warn about these potential problems before putting them on the market; however, the manufacturers failed to do so, and in the process put thousands of women at risk every year. Contact a personal injury lawyer for your free consultation to see if you can file a lawsuit. If you are considering a hysterectomy, there are safer methods to remove the offending tissue without the risk of spreading cancer. You should talk to your doctor about all of the methods and the risks associated with each one. An extra 2 weeks of recovery is better than a death sentence of spreading cancer cells.
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