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Power morcellation and medical malpractice: Spreading disease

Power morcellation, which is completed using a morcellator, is a surgery that essentially cuts up organs in a woman's body for a hysterectomy or other procedure in the abdomen. This surgery has been used by doctors in the District of Columbia along with much of the United States.

The device, a morcellator, cuts up the organs so they can be extracted from the abdomen in smaller pieces. This would, technically, allow for a smaller laceration to be made in the stomach and speed healing time. Unfortunately, while this process may work, it can also spread uterine disease, increase morbidity, and necessitate further surgeries. It may be rare, but doctors have also pointed to morcellation as the reason behind the spread of endometriosis.

Because morcellation is now being considered potentially dangerous, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has now said that it will add a black box warning to the procedure. The FDA claims that there is a risk of spreading unsuspected cancer with power morcellators. The FDA also advises that power morcellation shouldn't be used in the majority of women who are having hysterectomies or myomectomies due to fibroids.

Three cases were discussed as part of the latest research. One involved a 38-year-old woman who suffered multiple soft tissue tumors months after the initial morcellation surgery. Another, a 51-year-old woman, was found to have a 15-cm abdominal mass after her previous surgery. A third woman, also 51 years old, had suffered a bowel obstruction and pelvic mass following a morcellation surgery.

Not knowing about the potential dangers of morcellation could put you at risk. Have you had this treatment performed and suffered due to it? You have rights as a patient, and you may be able to seek compensation for your pain and suffering.

Source: Medscape, "Morcellation: Even With Benign Disease, Problems May Follow" Veronica Hackethal, Dec. 17, 2014

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