President of AAGL Defends Use of Power Morcellators
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Aug 29, 2016
The use of power morcellators pose a risk of spreading cancerous tissues throughout a woman’s uterus and beyond. For this reason, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a number of medical professionals have vehemently spoken out about their use in gynecological surgery. A safety communication published by the FDA in 2014 reads, “The FDA discourages the use of laparoscopic power morcellation during hysterectomy or myomectomy for uterine fibroids.” It should also be noted that there are dozens of women throughout the country who have developed – and died from – aggressive cancers that would not have been spread but for the use of power morcellators.
These facts are what make the recent editorial, written by the president of the American Association of Gynecological Laparoscopy (AAGL), so shocking.
AAGL President Defends Morcellators’ Use
Dr. Arnold Advincula, who is the president of the AAGL and serves as professor and chief of gynecology at the University of Columbia University Medical Center, published an astonishing editorial.
The editorial advocates for the continued use of morcellators, and refers to the day that the FDA safety communication (cited above) was issued as “fateful.” He also stated that the damage done to the practice of minimally invasive gynecological surgery is “irreparable.” He does not, however, mention a single one of the dozens of women whose lives were severely impaired or lost due to the use of the devices.
The editorial continues to explain Dr. Advincula’s three “silver linings” for minimally invasive gynecologists, whose careers were most certainly inconvenienced by the discovery of the morcellators’ dangers. Once such silver lining, Advincula writes, is that current containment systems have a 10 percent “leakage rate,” although innovating techniques are in the works. In other words, the doctor fully acknowledges that one out of every 10 women still faces a risk of cancer spreading if a power morcellator is used, yet he accepts this risk and supports device use regardless.
As pointed out by an article in Philly.com, the doctor does at least state that the risks of using morcellators, including the risk of death, should have been part of the conversation from the beginning. However, this acknowledgement is surely far from reassuring to the women who have lost their lives, as well as their surviving family members.
Contact a Birth Injury Attorney in Philadelphia
Sadly, the use of power morcellators has caused women and their families significant levels of harm, as have countless other medical devices and procedures performed while neglecting the duty of care owed to patients. If you believe that you sustained harm that you would not have but for a defective device or medical malpractice, the talented Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. want to meet with you. You can contact us by calling our offices today, or visiting us online.