November 3, 2014 — The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle has reported that a 44 year-old woman from New York has died after a two-year battle with cancer that was allegedly spread by a power morcellator during her hysterectomy in 2012.
The woman, Brenda Leuzzi of Perinton, New York, had a hysterectomy to treat suspected fibroids, which are benign (non-cancerous) growths on the uterus that commonly affect middle-aged women.
Unfortunately, the fibroid was actually undiagnosed leiomyosarcoma, a highly-aggressive type of uterine sarcoma. Many cases of leiomyosarcoma remain dormant inside the uterus for years, and if the uterus is removed whole, there is little chance of it spreading.
Leuzzi did not have her uterus removed whole. Instead, during a robotic hysterectomy, her doctor used a power morcellator. This electric device uses spinning blades to grind up tissues so they can be more easily sucked out of the body through “keyhole” incisions in the abdomen.
The problem with morcellators is that they can leave behind minced pieces of tissue — including cancerous cells, which can “seed” leiomyosarcoma throughout a patient’s abdomen and greatly worsen their long-term prognosis.
In April 2014, the FDA warned against using morcellators in gynecological surgery. They estimated that 1 in 350 women who has fibroid surgery actually has undiagnosed uterine sarcoma, and 1 in 500 has leiomyosarcoma. There is no way to tell whether a fibroid is actually cancer until after the tissue is removed from the body and a pathologist examines it under a microscope.
Do I have a Morcellator Cancer Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting power morcellator induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by cancer after a hysterectomy or fibroid surgery, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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