Johnson & Johnson recalls hysterectomy device linked to risk of spreading uterine cancer

by Michael Heygood

Johnson & Johnson has announced that it is recalling a surgical device used to perform hysterectomies due to concerns the product may raise the risk of spreading uterine cancer. The devices—known as laparoscopic power morcellators—are used to perform hysterectomy surgery and treat uterine growths called fibroids, either by removing the growths themselves or the entire uterus.

Morcellators work by cutting up the uterine growths, allowing doctors to remove them more easily through non-invasive procedures. According to recent FDA warnings, however, morcellators could spread a deadly type of uterine cancer known as sarcoma in women who are treated with the device.

Two recent studies by the FDA and Columbia University found undetected cancer among 1 out of every 350 women who is treated for fibroids and 1 in 368 women who receives a hysterectomy. When uterine growths are cut up by a morcellator, they increase the risk that deadly cancer cell could be spread through the body, increasing a woman’s chance of developing sarcoma.

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division suspended sales of laparoscopic power morcellators in response to an FDA warning about the risk of spreading cancer of the uterus. Over the following months, Johnson & Johnson continued to maintain that morcellators were safe, but was forced to recall the surgical devices following the publication of the two studies concerning the risk of undetected cancer among patients.

Product Liability Lawsuits Filed Over Dangerous Surgical Products

Products such as Johnson & Johnson’s laparoscopic power morcellators are manufactured with the goal of helping to improve the health and quality of life for patients. The FDA and other regulatory agencies monitor the safety and effectiveness of surgical devices and other medical products to ensure that they are safe and effective. But despite these efforts, thousands of patients are seriously injured each year due to complications caused by improperly manufactured devices or other medical products.

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we believe that medical devices manufacturers that fail to make sure that their products follow basic health and safety standards should be held accountable in a court of law for the accidents and illnesses caused by their products. Our law firm believes that all patients should have the right to experienced and qualified legal counsel to ensure that their interests are represented and that their rights our protected.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have resolved hundreds of claims involving defective medical products, dangerous drugs, and medical malpractice on the part of doctors or hospitals. Our attorneys have secured verdicts and settlements for our clients totaling more than $200 million.

If you or a loved one has been hurt by a defective surgical device or other medical products, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. For a free legal consultation about your case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form on this site.

by Michael Heygood

Michael Heygood is a licensed attorney and partner at HO&P who focuses on insurance and corporate litigation, and other civil arenas. Michael has been named multiple times to the Super Lawyers List.