Dangerous Medical Device: A Closer Look at Power Morcellators
Introduced in the 1990s, the power morcellator is a surgical tool for laparoscopic or minimally invasive procedures performed to remove noncancerous growths called uterine fibroids. Considered as one of the most common conditions to affect women in their childbearing age, uterine fibroids can cause a host of different symptoms depending its size and location. While there are instances when these growths cause little to no issues, there are also times when it can lead to heavier and more painful menstrual cycles, pain in the back and pelvic area, issues with urination, as well as complications during pregnancy. As a result, morcellators have proven to be very useful in providing women the option to undergo surgical treatment without the burden of a lengthy recovery time.
Unfortunately, it seems clear that the use of power morcellators isn’t as beneficial as the medical community once thought. As pointed out on the website of Williams Kherkher, there has been growing evidence pointing to significant dangers caused by morcellation. In particular, these safety concerns point to the fact that morcellators could potentially cause undiagnosed cancer to spread more quickly and become even harder to treat. These concerns have caused the FDA to act and issue a warning that the extreme risks outweigh any potential benefits from the use of morcellators. They offer stats to back up their assessment. The FDA estimates that 1 in every 350 patients that undergo procedures using morcellators can have undiagnosed uterine sarcoma. The process of morcellation, which involves fast-spinning blades that cut down tumors, can only spread the malignancy and cause the cancer to become even more aggressive.
At present, the FBI has started an investigation to learn more about the dangers of power morcellators. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Johnson & Johnson, the top manufacturer of the medical device, is included in the inquiry started by the FBI. In particular, the bureau is said to be interested in learning more about whether or Johnson & Johnson had been aware of the cancer risks linked to their product before they had pulled it out of the market in 2014.