A woman suffering from an aggressive form of cancer is suing a New Jersey hospital for using a potentially dangerous device. She is asserting that the device spread cancer cells through her body during what was supposed to be a routine hysterectomy.
The device used was a power morcellator used to cut and shred tissues so it could be sucked out through a tiny opening during the minimally invasive operation. During the operation, the device spatter cancer cells through the patient’s abdomen.
The patient asserts that a power morcellator should never have been used for her surgery, nothing that the federal government had already discouraged health-care professionals from using them because of the risk of spreading undetected cancer cells.
The patient who has since the operation been diagnose with the rare cancer stage 4 leiomyosarcoma has sued the device maker, her doctors, and the hospital. The metastases has spread quickly, obstructing her intestines and causing so much swelling that she looking nine months pregnant.
The FBI has recently divulged that it is investigating the device and the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the cancer risk stating that morcellation could significantly worsen the patient’s likelihood of long-term survival.
Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson that made the devices has recently advised doctors to stop using them and withdrew them from the market. Before that, about 60,000 such procedures were performed every year and at least one of the affected patients has been interviewed by the FBI.
This suit is the third filed in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey involving cancer that was allegedly spread by a morcellator, and it is among nearly two dozen around the country.