Power Morcellator

In 2015, Aimee Wagstaff made MDL history when the Honorable Judge Kathryn H. Vratil appointed her to serve as Co-Lead counsel of the first ever majority women MDL PSC – MDL 2652: In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation, situated in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The morcellator litigation involves women and their families all over the United States who have been diagnosed with devastating and permanent injuries, including leiomyosarcoma (“LMS,” a deadly form of cancer), following the use of Ethicon’s power morcellator during a fibroid removal or hysterectomy surgery.

In response to the concerns over the link between power morcellators and cancer, Andrus Wagstaff PC is investigating potential lawsuits for victims.  In a safety communication notice issued in April 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “discouraged the use of laparoscopic power morcellation for the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) or uterine fibroids (myomectomy) in women because, based on an analysis of currently available data, it poses a risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue, notably uterine sarcomas, beyond the uterus.”

Laparoscopic power morcellation is one of several available treatments for fibroids. It is a procedure that uses a medical device to divide the uterine tissue into smaller pieces or fragments so it can be removed through a small incision in the abdomen, such as during laparoscopy.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has suspended worldwide sales of its laparoscopic power morcellators after this warning by the FDA that the devices may spread cancer in the course of fibroid removal. There are approximately 24 devices approved by the FDA for laparoscopic power morcellation, with Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, as the largest maker of the devices. Other makers include Blue Endo, Karl Storz and Olympus. At least a half-dozen lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of power morcellators, other entities, and individuals. The women allege they were never warned about the possibility of cancer spreading if the device was used in fibroid surgery or a hysterectomy.

According to some, Power morcellators should have never been manufactured, approved or used by surgeons because this medical device endangers the lives of women. Victims and families allege the use of power morcellators was to blame for the spread of deadly cancerous cells into other parts of the body.

Andrus Wagstaff PC is no longer investigating potential claims in regards to complications from Power Morcellators.

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