Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Hooman Noorchashm and anesthesiologist Dr. Amy Reed have experienced the dangers of power morcellation surgery firsthand.
After the procedure to remove her uterine fibroids spread undetected cancer in her body, Reed and her husband launched a campaign to ban the device once and for all.
The Birth of the Campaign
Laparoscopic power morcellation is a medical procedure that is used to remove painful fibroids from the uterus. Through small incisions, the morcellator device breaks and clears fibroids embedded in uterine tissue.
In October 2013, doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston removed Reed’s uterine fibroids with a power morcellator. No one expected that a minimally invasive procedure could come with life-changing consequences.
As the device destroyed the fibroids, it spread hidden leiomyosarcoma cancer cells throughout Reed’s abdomen. Reed and her husband were outraged, and they began searching for answers.
The couple set out to discover how frequently undetected leiomyosarcoma was released and spread by power morcellation surgery. After consulting with doctors and other women who developed cancer as a side effect of surgery, the two took to the internet to start a Change.org petition that urged the FDA to put an end to the procedure.
“I basically used the same intensity I brought to work and focused it on this,” Noorchashm told ABC News. “What you’re seeing here is a large volume of time and non-stop sustained [work] in order to make a change.”
Reed and her husband were successful in altering the ways that doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital regulate power morcellator procedures, but the duo won’t stop until it has been banned altogether. The real goal is to save other women from an avoidable fate.
“We want the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology to change this ‘standard of care’ by ending the needless waste of life caused by spreading cancer with morcellation,” Noorchashm wrote on Change.org.
FDA Defines Risk Associated With Power Morcellators
Power morcellation surgery can cause pain and infections, but the most serious side effect is the possibility of developing uterine cancer. Although Reed and Noorchashm haven’t reached their ultimate goal of banning the surgery, the campaign has been successful in drawing attention to the issue.
The FDA has released figures that show 1 in 350 women are at risk of developing uterine cancer from power morcellation surgery. The regulatory agency is still looking into the procedure to determine what should be done to mediate this risk.
In the meantime, women are still suffering as a result of power morcellation surgery. Those who developed cancer after undergoing a uterine fibroid removal procedure with a power morcellator might be entitled to compensation.
Complete a free, no obligation case evaluation now to see if you qualify.
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