Stephen M. O'Brien III, PLLC - Personal Injury Attorneys
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Failure to diagnose cancer can mean trouble during morcellation

When people learn they will have to have surgery, their thoughts likely turn to how the surgery will be performed. When those people hear that they might have minimally invasive surgery instead of invasive surgery, they will likely be happy. Minimally invasive surgery usually means an easier and a shorter recovery time. Recently, the use of power morcellation as a way to complete hysterectomies or myomectomies has come under scrutiny. Our readers in Kentucky might find this interesting.

What is power morcellation?

Power morcellation is a procedure that enables the surgeon to remove the uterus or fibroids via a laparoscopic procedure, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The morcellator is a powered device that has a rotary blade on the end. This blade slices the uterus or fibroid into small pieces that can be removed through a vacuum.

Why is power morcellation dangerous?

There is a risk that when the fibroid or uterus is sliced with the rotary blade that undetected cancerous cells could be flung around the abdominal cavity. This would allow the cancer to seed in the body, which could allow it to spread quickly. This can mean harsh cancer treatments for some women and death for others.

Why is power morcellation still used?

There are certain benefits to power morcellation, such as the reduced risk of blood loss and faster recovery. Some health care providers might consider the risk of cancer seeding to be a risk worth the benefits for some women.

The bottom line is that power morcellation can be very dangerous, partly because some cancers aren’t easily detected prior to the procedure. Any woman who has a power morcellation procedure should be aware of the risks. If she is diagnosed with a cancer that was likely spread via the morcellation procedure, she has the right to seek compensation for the damages caused to her.

Source: American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, “AAGL Statement to the FDA on Power Morcellation” Dr. Jubilee Brown, Jan. 01, 2015

O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC is located in Lexington, KY and serves clients in and around Lexington, Keene, Nicholasville, Versailles, Midway, Georgetown, Wilmore, Paris, Bourbon County, Fayette County, Jessamine County, Scott County and Woodford County.

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