Power Morcellator Study Puts Uterine Cancer Rate at Nearly 1 in 370, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports

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The Firm is evaluating morcellator lawsuits on behalf of women whose uterine cancers were allegedly spread and upstaged via uterine morcellation.

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These findings echo recent warnings from U.S. health regulators, who have discouraged doctors from using power morcellators in gynecological surgeries due to their potential to spread undiagnosed uterine cancers.

The controversy over the use of power morcellators (http://www.drugbot.com/morcellator/) in minimally-invasive hysterectomy and fibroid removals continues to grow, as Bernstein Liebhard LLP notes the publication of a new study that suggests fears about the devices’ potential to spread uterine cancers may be well-founded. Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers with Columbia University reported that they identified more than 36,000 women who had undergone uterine morcellation at 500 U.S. hospitals between 2006 and 2012. Of those patients, 99 were later found to have undetected uterine cancer within their fibroids. Based on these findings, the authors of the study concluded that 1 in 368 women undergoing morcellation have an undiagnosed malignancy that could potentially be spread by a power morcellator. They urged doctors to discuss this risk with women who are considering uterine morcellation.*

“These findings echo recent warnings from U.S. health regulators, who have discouraged doctors from using power morcellators in gynecological surgeries due to their potential to spread undiagnosed uterine cancers,” says Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing victims of defective drugs and medical devices. The Firm is now evaluating potential legal claims on behalf of women who may have experienced the spread of undiagnosed cancers due to uterine morcellation.

Power Morcellators and Uterine Cancer
Power morcellators are used during laparoscopic hysterectomies and fibroid removals to cut tissue into small pieces so that it can be removed through an abdominal incision. In April, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert discouraging doctors from performing uterine morcellation, after its own review determined that 1 in 350 fibroid patients actually has undetected uterine sarcoma cells within that tissue. There is a risk that a power morcellator will disseminate these cells outside of the uterus, resulting in an upstaging of the disease and greatly reducing a patient’s chances of long-term survival.

In July, the FDA’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel met for two-days to discuss the risks associated with uterine morcellation. According to a report from The Boston Globe, the panelists heard emotional testimony from cancer victims and their families, many of whom urged the FDA to ban power morcellators.**

Just weeks after the meeting, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, Inc. unit announced that it was withdrawing its Gynecare Morcellex, Gynecare X-Tract and Morcellex Sigma morcellator systems from the market because the risks and benefits associated with such devices remain uncertain.***

Women who allegedly experienced the upstaging of cancer due to uterine morcellation may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. To learn more about the risks associated with uterine morcellation, please visit Bernstein Liebhard LLP’s website. To obtain a free legal review, please call 800-511-5092.

*jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1890400, JAMA, September 24, 2014
**bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/07/11/agreement-reached-whether-fda-should-ban-hysterectomy-cutting-tool/EkXZaFAUUnT5HZ7DBQvWbM/story.html, Boston Globe, July 11, 2014
***ethicon.com/sites/default/files/managed-documents/Ethicon%20Morcellation%20Devices%20Customer%20Letter%20Final.pdf, Ethicon, Inc., July 30, 2014

About Bernstein Liebhard LLP
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993. As a national law firm, Bernstein Liebhard LLP possesses all of the legal and financial resources required to successfully challenge billion dollar pharmaceutical and medical device companies. As a result, our attorneys and legal staff have been able to recover more than $3 billion on behalf of our clients. The Firm has been named by The National Law Journal to the Plaintiffs’ Hot List, recognizing the top plaintiffs firms in the country, for the past 12 consecutive years. Bernstein Liebhard LLP is the only firm in the country to be named to this prestigious list every year since it was first published in 2003.

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ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. © 2014 Bernstein Liebhard LLP. The law firm responsible for this advertisement is Bernstein Liebhard LLP, 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016, 800-511-5092. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.

Contact Information:
Felecia L. Stern, Esq.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP

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