October 13, 2014 — A woman who was diagnosed with cancer after being treated with a power morcellator has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, Gyrus ACMI, for failing to anticipate this complication or warn doctors about the risk.
The lawsuit (PDF) was filed on October 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
The plaintiff, Lisa Nielsen, had a hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus) in which a Gyrus power morcellator was used. The surgery took place in Carmichael, California. Before the surgery, Nielsen was unaware that she had cancer.
More than a year after the procedure, Nielsen was diagnosed with seven cancerous tumors in her abdomen. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy and continues to undergo active monitoring for new tumors.
Recently, Nielsen learned that the tumors in her abdomen existed before she was treated with the Gyrus power morcellator. She alleges that the surgery spread cancerous cells from uterine fibroids and disseminated them in her abdomen.
She accuses Gyrus of failing to warn about this risk:
“Nielsen was never warned prior to her hysterectomy that there was any chance that he ‘fibroids’ could be cancerous, nor that using the Gyrus Power Morcellator in the hysterectomy brought any chance of spreading cancer.”
Earlier this year, the FDA published a Safety Communication to warn that an estimated 1 in 350 women who has surgery to remove fibroids actually has undiagnosed uterine cancer. The agency recommended against using power morcellators in hysterectomies and/or fibroid surgery due to the risk of spreading cancer.
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