Health

Hysterectomy Device Pulled, May Raise Risk of Spreading Cancer

Doctors Amy Reed and Hooman Noorchashm after the start of Reed's chemotherapy treatment. Reed, a Boston doctor, had what she thought was a routine hysterectomy that actually ended up spreading cancer and making it much worse. She is now campaigning against the procedure she had. (Courtesy of Amy Reed)
Doctors Amy Reed and Hooman Noorchashm after the start of Reed’s chemotherapy treatment. Reed, a Boston doctor, had what she thought was a routine hysterectomy that actually ended up spreading cancer and making it much worse. She is now campaigning against the procedure she had. (Courtesy of Amy Reed)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson is asking surgeons not to use a line of devices for performing hysterectomies and removing growths from the uterus amid regulators’ growing concern that the electronic surgical tools raise the risk of spreading cancer to other parts of the body.

In April, J&J suspended sales of the devices, known as laparoscopic power morcellators, after the Food and Drug Administration discouraged doctors from using them. Surgeons use the devices to perform hysterectomies and treat painful fibroids, either by removing the growths themselves or the entire uterus.

J&J said Wednesday it is conducting a worldwide withdrawal of all its morcellators still on the market. The company cited an FDA meeting earlier this month that reinforced “the complexity of this issue.”

FDA is weighing regulatory actions to reduce the risk of cancer spread.

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