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May 28th 2015

FBI investigating Johnson & Johnson over hysterectomy device pul

The FBI is investigating a laparscopic surgical device that can spread cancer during hysterectomies and fibroids removal, including manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, according to a report.

The FBI is questioning makers of a surgical device that can spread cancer cells in female patients, asking Johnson & Johnson officials what the manufacturing giant knew about the tool before yanking it out of service in 2014, according to a new report.

The FBI's Newark, N.J., office is overseeing the probe, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. A Johnson & Johnson spokesperson told the New York Daily news that the company has not been contacted by federal agents.

The device, called a laparoscopic power morcellator, was pulled from the market last year after the FDA recommended not using the surgical tool because it can spread cancerous tissues and cells.

The laparoscopic instrument was a minimally invasive tool for removing fibroids and conducting hysterectomies by chopping the tissues into small pieces that could be removed without major surgery.

For women with certain underlying conditions, the FDA said, the device could actually spread cancer into the abdomen and pelvis.

Three people have been questioned so far in the FBI investigation, the paper said.

They included a retired pathologist who alerted the medical company in 2006 about problems with the instrument and a woman who has gathered a list of nearly 400 patients and their families who may have suffered from the device.

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