The Karl Storz Group has threatened to take legal action against a Boston man whose efforts to end power morcellator surgery in the U.S. have created negative publicity for its Rotocut device, according to The Cancer Letter.com.
A report on August 27th indicates that Karl Storz has asked Hooman Noorchasm to stop “defaming” the power morcellator, which was used in his wife’s fibroid removal procedure last year that allegedly left her with life-threatening uterine cancer. Following her surgery last October, and the diagnosis that followed, the Boston surgeon launched a nationwide campaign to stop this type of minimally-invasive surgery. A Change.org petition created on her behalf included more than 75,000 supporters on August 29th that together ask Barack Obama and the U.S. federal government for a nationwide ban on uterine morcellation. As this campaign continues to make headlines, power morcellator lawsuit filings continue to mount in the U.S.
In the Karl Storz letter to Noorchasm, the company said it “will no longer tolerate unfounded and unproven allegations such as the ones contained in your previous emails and we will hold you responsible,” before adding its intention to sue if his alleged behavior persists. “Should we get to know further public statements from you that our device and/or management would be responsible for your wife’s and/or other women’s uterine cancer, and/or aggravation of their cancerous situations, we would not hesitate to take appropriate legal actions to protect our good name and our rights.”
Throughout The Cancer Letter article, Karl Storz goes on to blame Noorchasm’s campaign for the decision from several U.S. hospitals, including Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to abstain from using the devices in laparoscopic hysterectomy and fibroid removal surgeries.
But what about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s morcellator warning last April? The federal regulator warned at this time of the possible link between uterine morcellation surgery and the spread of uterine sarcoma and other cancers. Approximately 1 in every 350 women undergoing fibroid removal surgery may have uterine cancer that may be undiagnosed prior to surgery, and are often not detected until after fibroids are removed.
Following the FDA warning, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit first suspended sales of its power morcellators, and then issued a “worldwide market withdrawal” of all similar devices on the market in July 2014. The company asked all doctors to return devices they had already purchased.