Lawyers for Leiomyosarcoma Diagnosed Following Uterine Fibroid Surgery with Morcellation
The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of women throughout the United States who have been diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma (LMS) cancer that may have been spread by a power morcellator used during a hysterectomy or uterine fibroid surgery.
Power morcellators are medical devices that are designed to make uterine fibroid surgery less invasive, with a smaller incision that reduces recovery time. However, these dangerous and defectively designed devices may spread unsuspected sarcoma that is contained within the uterus. As a result, women may be diagnosed with Stage 4 leiomyosarcoma or another uterine cancer, where cancerous tissue has spread throughout the pelvis, bladder, lungs and other areas of the body.
- Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy (LSH)
- Robot-Assisted Hysterectomy
- Laparoscopic Myomectomy or Uterine Fibroid Removal
- Other Minimally Invasive Fibroid Surgery
To review a potential claim for yourself or a loved one, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.
Uterine Fibroids Diagnosed as Cancer
Most women in the United States will experience uterine fibroids at some point in their lives, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In most cases, these uterine tumors are benign and pose no health risks. However, in some cases symptoms of problems from uterine fibroids may develop, such as pain, discomfort and other complications that result in the need for a hysterectomy or surgery to remove the tumors.
In rare cases, these tumors are not fibroids at all, but are actually a form of cancer known as uterine sarcoma.
Unfortunately, there is no reliable way for doctors to diagnose uterine cancer vs. fibroid tumors prior to removal through a myomectomy (removal of the uterine tumor) or hysterectomy (removal of the entire uterus).
Minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic surgery has been recommended for many women in recent years, which often is performed with the use of a power morcellator
Morcellation involves the chopping or cutting of the uterus or fibroid tumor tissue into small pieces that can be removed through the port incision.
In those rare cases where women have uterine sarcoma, morcellation may cause the cancerous tissue to be spread throughout the pelvis and body, leading to a diagnosis of late stage cancer.
Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) Cancer Diagnosis
There are two types of uterine sarcoma; endometrial stromal sarcoma and leiomyosarcoma, which is very aggressive and life-threatening.
Leiomyosarcoma, often referred to as LMS cancer, may remain dormant for long periods of time. The best results for long-term survival with LMS occur when the tumor is surgically removed while still contained within the uterus (Stage I Uterine Leiomyosarcoma). The five-year survival rate at this early stage of the cancer is about 60%.
If leiomyosarcoma spreads outside the uterus as a result of the use of a morcellator during surgery, it becomes increasingly difficult to treat and the long-term survival rates drop dramatically.
The area around the uterus is extremely fertile for cancerous growth, which can lead to what is known as upstaging. This occurs when cancer cells are spread and take over a wider area, pushing the cancer to the next stage. In some cases, power morcellation can upstage leiomyosarcoma from Stage One to Stage Four before a woman is ever diagnosed with cancer.
Stage IV Leiomyosarcoma indicates that the cancer has spread to the urinary bladder, rectum or other distant organs, such as the lungs or bones. If this occurs, the five-year survival rate is only 15% and the overall quality of life is greatly impacted.
Many women diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma following a hysterectomy or myomectomy where a morcellator was used only survive a matter of months.
Increasing evidence suggests that for many women, the spreading of leiomyosarcoma may have been avoided if the power morcellator was not used, or if the manufacturers of these medical devices had provided systems to allow doctors to contain the tissue and keep the cancerous cells from traveling outside the uterus, such as a surgical bag.
Leiomyosarcoma Morcellation Class Action Lawyers
Manufacturers of these devices have marketed power morcellation as a safe, easy and minimally invasive procedure that results in less scarring and shorter recovery times. However, the devices are actually unfit and unsafe for their intended purpose as they were originally introduced and sold.
In April 2014, the FDA warned doctors that power morcellators should not be used for uterine fibroid removal, due to the risk of spreading leiomyosarcoma and other uterine cancers. The agency announced that “black box” warnings will be added to morcellators in November 2014, ensuring that women undergoing a laparoscopic hysterectomy or myomectomy for uterine fibroids will be informed about the potential risk.
Since there are many other effective surgical options available, many critics have called for power morcellator recalls to be issued due to the leiomyosarcoma risks, indicating that the benefits of minimally invasive surgery do not justify exposing women to the risk rapidly disseminating aggressive cancer.
Financial compensation may be available through a leiomyosarcoma morcellation lawsuit for women diagnosed with this aggressive form of cancer following a laparoscopic hysterectomy or myomectomy.
The leiomyosarcoma lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are providing free consultations and claim evaluations to help families determine whether a power morcellator may have been used during uterine fibroid surgery.
All cases are reviewed under a contingency fee agreement, which means that there are no out-of-pocket expenses to hire a lawyer and we receive no attorney fees unless a recovery is obtained.