A fibroid is a smooth muscle tumor in the uterus. They may range from small, benign tumors to larger fibroids that can cause an individual serious health problems, such as issues with urination or reproduction.
Fibroids, also referred to as uterine fibroids or fibromyoma, often require treatment. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, there are various treatment methods that may be required.
In some situations, fibroids may be so benign, or not harmful, that no treatment or removal is necessary, as long as they do not cause the individual any pain or interference. If an individual does receive treatment and they are injured as a result, they may file a uterine fibroids lawsuit.
What Are Some Common Fibroid Treatment Methods?
There are numerous different ways that doctors can treat fibroids. Common treatments for fibroids include:
- Administration of medication;
- Uterine artery blockage, which involves cutting off the blood supply to the fibroids;
- Comprehensive surgery involving incision of the abdomen;
- Hysterectomies and myomectomies;
- Minimally invasive surgery; and
- Radiofrequency ablation, which is the insertion of small instruments that cause necrosis of the fibroid through emissions of radio-frequency emissions.
Depending on the case, a doctor may also use a combination of these treatment methods.
What Is a Myomectomy?
Myomectomies are surgical procedures that are used to remove uterine fibroids. These procedures are related to those used for hysterectomies.
Myomectomies, however, leave the uterus intact. Hysterectomies, in contrast, result in the removal of at least a portion of the uterus.
Because of this, myomectomies are typically the preferred option for patients who want to have children in the future. A myectomy may be performed using several different means, including:
What Is Power Morcellation?
In certain hysterectomy and myomectomy procedures, power morcellation is used to remove non-cancerous growths from the wall of the uterus. The device that is used for this procedure is called a morcellator.
It contains blades that are shaped like tubes. It is used to separate tissue.
By creating tiny incisions, a power morcellator can remove an undesirable uterine growth. Power morcellation is often promoted as a minimally invasive surgical technique that has a quicker recovery time than other hysterectomy methods because the incisions required for it are small.
During a laparoscopic surgery, a doctor will use a power morcellator to slice larger pieces of tissue into smaller ones. Surgeons typically use these tools for gynecological treatments such as laparoscopic hysterectomies and myomectomies.
What Is a Morcellator’s Mechanism?
Morcellate means to divide into smaller parts. With the help of a power morcellator, a surgeon can remove fibroids and other tissue using tiny and minimally invasive incisions that are less than 2 millimeters long.
These smaller entrance locations mean that the surgeon does not have to make significant incisions through the muscles of the core of the stomach. Because of this, the patient can recover more quickly and will experience less postoperative discomfort and wound problems.
The tissue or fibroid is cut into small pieces and vacuumed out of the patient’s abdominal cavity by the surgeon using a long, tube-like part of the device which is inserted into the small abdominal incisions.
Are There Any Risks or Dangers Associated with Myomectomies?
As with any other medical procedure, there may be certain risks that are associated with myomectomies. The risks and complications from this procedure may include:
- Significant blood loss;
- Scarring in the uterus;
- Need to deliver through cesarean section later; and
- Uterine rupture during pregnancy.
In addition, a myomectomy typically does not prevent the regrowth of uterine fibroids in the future. There may also be complications during the recovery states even though it usually only lasts a short period of time.
What Are the Risks Linked to Power Morcellation?
There are certain subtypes of uterine cancer that have been associated with spreading through power morcellation. This may happen if the morcellator accidentally breaks up the uterine wall’s malignant cells.
When this occurs, the cancer can spread to the patient’s other body regions, which worses the patient’s general health. The tumorous cells may then expand to nearby regions, for example, the pelvis or abdomen.
There are also other hazards associated with these procedures. Morcellators can disseminate fibrous tissue that is not malignant.
This may cause additional fibroids to develop because non-cancerous fibroid tissue fuses into other organs and tissues in the patient’s abdominal cavity.
A power morcellator does not cause uterine cancer, but it can spread it, especially leiomyosarcoma (LMS). The most common locations of LMS include the:
- Abdomen; and
LMS is a type of soft tissue sarcoma. It can, however, also appear in blood vessels, muscles, fat, and tissues that surround or support organs.
What if I Have a Legal Claim Involving a Myomectomy Injury?
Myomectomy injuries may be serious. Damages from surgical errors or negligence may require legal action to resolve.
This is especially true in cases where the injury interferes with a patient’s ability to give birth in the future or if the injury affects their other bodily functions. There are also more serious legal issues, for example, failed surgery or medical malpractice, that may result in remedies such as a monetary damages award to compensate the plaintiff for their losses.
In addition, there are some surgical instruments used in myomectomies and hysterectomies that have been subject to FDA recalls in the past. Because of this, product liability may be an issue as well for these types of injuries.
Can I Sue for Injuries Caused by a Fibroid Malpractice?
The FDA has issued warnings that advise the use of power morcellation should end in relation to hysterectomies and myomectomies as a result of the known dangers that are associated with the procedure. There are several distributors and makers of morcellators that have stopped selling their products based on these warnings.
Legal action against these types of companies may be pursued in the form of class action suits for injuries or medical issues that arise from power morcellation. Medical malpractice may also serve as the basis of a lawsuit for injuries that are caused by fibroid malpractice.
Legal remedies for these types of situations may involve a damages award to make up for the patient’s losses.
Are There Any Legal Issues Associated with Fibroid Treatment?
Treating fibroids is a complex issue that may cause legal issues to arise. Injuries that result from fibroid treatments may result in a damages award to the patient.
This may be used to compensate for losses stemming from legal issues including:
- Failed surgery;
- Medical malpractice; and
- Product liability, as defective medical products such as defective medicine may have been used during the treatment process.
In many cases, a fibroid treatment lawsuit may be filed as a class action lawsuit, as noted above, especially for those lawsuits involving product liability.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Fibroid Treatment Issues?
Fibroid treatments may range from very minor procedures to major, invasive, and extensive procedures. These procedures may involve various conflicts and issues, especially if something goes wrong with the treatment plan.
If you have been injured as a result of receiving treatment for fibroids, it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will provide you with representation in court if you have to file a claim or lawsuit to receive compensation for your injuries.