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Some doctors not heeding FDA warning about surgical tool

At some point in our lives, many of us face the prospect of having to undergo surgery. And while surgery covers a wide range of medical procedures, from minor to major, we should never lose track of the fact that surgical errors can cause serious and long lasting health issues. As such, we should take care to educate ourselves about any surgical treatment we receive.

The most logical source of information regarding a procedure would, of course, be the doctor who we are trusting to perform the operation. But what happens if we find that some aspect of a procedure a doctor is proposing is deemed somehow questionable? Some women who are planning to have hysterectomy surgery may have to deal with this issue.

Subsequent to a warning from the FDA, Johnson & Johnson recalled a surgical tool known as a laparoscopic power morcellator. The FDA believes that the device, which is employed for the purpose of removing uterine fibroids, could cause the spread of undetected cancer. Because of this, some hospitals have banned the use of the device and some insurers will not cover surgery which employs its use.

But some doctors have decided to continue using the morcellator. The reason being that these doctors do not believe that the FDA’s conclusions are accurate. One Dallas gynecologist says that the use of the device is not the FDA’s concern. Nonetheless, he has his patients sign a form of acknowledgement and consent describing the alleged risks of the spread of cancer.

Doctors have a responsibility to make sure that the tools they use when performing surgery do not pose an unreasonable risk to the patient when used properly. Should a doctor ignore possible dangers and as a result commit a surgical error that causes serious injury to a patient, that doctor may be deemed to have been negligent.

If you or a family member ever suffer an injury caused by a doctor’s negligence, you may want to have a medical malpractice attorney investigate your case. The attorney may be able to help you get restitution for your pain and suffering.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Gynecologists Resist FDA Over Popular Surgical Tool,” Jennifer Levitz, Jon Kamp, Sept. 21, 2014

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