BY ASHLEY LEWIS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, August 14, 2015, 6:08 PM
A 43-year-old New Jersey mother is lying on her death bed, her body racked with cancer a year after she underwent a hysterectomy, and she’s blaming her doctor for using a controversial device in the procedure.
Viviana Ruscitto is suing her oncologist, Dr. Howard Jones, for malpractice, alleging he used a device that she blames for spreading cancer cells in her uterus throughout her internal organs.
“My sister’s prognosis is poor, and I do not know how much longer she can continue fighting this cancer,” Mirian Riviera told a judge last week in a sworn statement.
Ruscitto had a minimally invasive hysterectomy performed in October 2014 to remove a large fibroid in her uterus at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J.,The Record reported.
Jones used a controversial surgical tool, a power morcellator, to cut and tear tissue so it could be removed from her body.
The device was approved to remove uterine fibroids in 1991 because the small incisions from morcellation helped patients recover quicker and easier.
The device has come under heavy scrutiny in recent years, however, and in April 2014 the FDA released a safety alert against morcellators, acknowledging that the device can spread undetected cancer cells.
The agency said some of the minced undetected cancerous tissue fragments could be left behind in the abdominal cavity and spread to other parts of the body.
The government discouraged doctors from using the morcellators and encouraged professionals to discuss the risks and benefits with their patients.
The device’s largest manufacturer, Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, promptly pulled the morcellator off the market.