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Update: Federal authorities investigating power morcellator maker

Back in December, we discussed power morcellation and how some women were being diagnosed with cancer after having the uterus removed using the morcellator. If you recall, the morcellator is a power tool that is used to cut the uterus into pieces so it can be removed using laparoscopic methods. In some women, cancer cells that were undetectable were being cut and flung about the abdomen, which led to the cancer spreading. For some women, this was a death sentence. For other women, it meant lengthy cancer treatments.

In the latest news about the risk of power morcellators, the Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into whether Johnson & Johnson knew about the possible dangers and chose to ignore them. The investigation thus far has included an interview with a retired pathologist who spoke up about his concerns regarding the device spreading cancer. He claims he told the company about his concerns in 2006.

Fast forward to 2013 when a doctor stepped forward about her personal experience with a power morcellator concern. She was diagnosed with stage IV leiomyosarcoma after a hysterectomy. Her husband, also a doctor, have worked to have the device banned. Still, it remained on the market.

It wasn't until August of 2014 that Johnson & Johnson withdrew the device from the market and asked that the device be returned to them by customers. The FDA didn't issue a ban at that time, but issued a warning that the device shouldn't be used in the majority of cases.

Women who have been diagnosed with cancer following the use of a power morcellator during a hysterectomy should learn about the connection between the two. Seeking compensation might be a course of action that some women in this situation might choose to take.

Source: Outpatient Surgery Magazine, "FBI Investigating Whether J&J Ignored Safety Concerns," Jim Burger, June 02, 2015

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