Aetna to Stop Routine Coverage of Power Morcellator Surgery Procedures Due Potential to Spread Undiagnosed Uterine Cancers
Aetna, Inc. has announced that it will end routine coverage of hysterectomies and myomectomies (fibroid removals) that involve the use of a power morcellator surgery, making it the latest insurer to impose new restrictions on such procedures. Southern Med Law, a law firm representing plaintiffs in power morcellator lawsuits, fully supports Aetna’s action, as this step will help to ensure the health of thousands of women who undergo such surgeries every year.
[marketwatch.com/story/aetna-to-stop-covering-routine-use-of-power-morcellator-2015-05-05-111033058?link=MW_latest_news, Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2015]
“Aetna is the latest insurer to limit or end power morcellator coverage since the FDA warned last year that the devices can spread and upstage undiagnosed uterine cancers. The decision by Aetna is even more important, given that the FDA has opted not to ban these devices,” says Dr. François Blaudeau, the founder of Southern Med Law. As both an attorney and practicing obstetrician/ gynecologist with a specialization in advanced gynecological surgery, Dr. Blaudeau possesses a unique understanding of the current controversy surrounding power morcellators.
Power morcellators are used to cut up uterine tissue during minimally-invasive hysterectomies and myomectomies to allow for its removal via a small abdominal incision. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) discouraged surgeons from using power morcellators to perform gynecological surgeries in April 2014 because of their potential to spread undetected cancer cells beyond the uterus. A second alert issued by the FDA in November 2014 advised that the devices should be avoided in the vast majority of women who require a hysterectomy or fibroid removal surgery. However, the agency allowed morcellators to remain on the market, and instead ordered that a new black box warning be added to their labels.
[fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm393576.htm, April 17, 2014]
[fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm424443.htm, November 24, 2014]
Long before the FDA issued its first power morcellator alert, Southern Med Law was at the forefront of this important public health issue. According to court documents, Dr. Blaudeau is currently serving as Plaintiff’s Lead Counsel in the nation’s first morcellator lawsuit, which is set to go to trial this November. The lawsuit, which is currently pending in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was filed on behalf of a woman who died as a result of metastatic leiomyosarcoma after she underwent a morcellator hysterectomy in 2013. (Case No. 5:14-cv-1557)
Dr. Blaudeau and the staff at Southern Med Law continue to offer free legal evaluations to those whose cancer was allegedly spread via uterine morcellation. If you or a woman you loved were diagnosed with uterine cancer following such a procedure, please contact Southern Med Law today to learn more about your legal rights. You can arrange for a free, no obligation power morcellator lawsuit review by visiting www.southernmedlaw.com, or by calling the office directly at 205-547-5525.
About Southern Med Law
Southern Med Law is a patient and consumer advocacy organization providing legal representation to the victims of negligent personal injuries, medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, faulty medical devices and defective products. Led by Dr. François Blaudeau, an attorney and a practicing obstetrician/ gynecologist, the legal staff at Southern Med Law possesses a deep understanding of the complex medical and legal questions at issue in all manner of product liability and personal injury claims. They’re not afraid to take on the nation’s largest corporations in their pursuit of justice, and are committed to ensuring that all victims have access to the type of aggressive legal advocacy that assures success.
Southern Med Law
Southern Institute for Medical and Legal Affairs
2224 1st Ave., North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Phone: (205) 547-5525
Fax: (205) 547-5526