Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes part of a woman’s uterus/womb (partial or supracervical hysterectomy) or the whole uterus plus the cervix (complete or total hysterectomy, which is also the most common type performed). This procedure is especially recommended to women suffering from constant pelvic pains, uterine infections, uncontrollable vaginal bleeding, cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovary, endometriosis, painful periods due to adenomyosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases, and uterine prolapse, as well as for those with uterine fibroids (myomas).
Records from the National Institutes of Health show about 600,000 hysterectomy procedures performed in the US every year. About 50,000 – 75,000 of these are laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, procedures wherein a device, called a power morcellator, is used.
A morcellator is a device that is capable of mincing the uterus and large masses of tissues that need to be suctioned out of the body; this device is designed to be used in laparoscopic surgeries (such as hysterectomy and myomectomy). Before the introduction of the power morcellator in the 1990s, the usual type of hysterectomy performed was abdominal hysterectomy, an open surgery, which required a cut on the abdomen about 5 – 7 inches long. Another type was the vaginal hysterectomy, which made a direct, but smaller, incision in the vagina itself.
In a laparoscopic hysterectomy, however, very tiny incisions, 0.5 – 1cm long, are all that’s required. These cuts are just big enough for devices, such as the morcellator and the laparoscope (a small, thin camera that will give a view of the body from the inside to guide the morcellation of the uterus and any other organ), to go through. The use of a morcellator has also made laparoscopic hysterectomy a more accurate, faster and safer procedure.
Though a morcellator definitely offers great advantages, the US Food and Drug Administration discouraged its continued use in laparoscopic surgeries due to reports which say that it caused the spread of unsuspected cancerous tissues, known as uterine sarcoma, outside the uterus.
Lawsuits against a number of morcellator manufacturers have already been filed by women who have been diagnosed with a deadly cancer after having been treated with a morcellator. It would be wise for women with the same circumstance to contact a morcellator lawyer immediately to get a clear grasp of the possible legal options available for them.Read More