A lady suffered a bad medical negligence tummy tuck, that reared its ugly head on a flight home!
The 68 year old grandmother and manager of a residential home, decided eight years ago that after she had lost weight to have a tummy tuck due to the sagging skin and fat that were left on her stomach. In 2005, she had surgery at a private hospital, during which time the extra fat was removed and the muscles in her abdominal wall were tightened. However, a new belly button was not created for the woman as she was told there was not enough leftover skin which often happens in this type of surgery. Unfortunately, as part of the procedure, parts of the older belly button were left inside of her.
The woman said that during the first year after the surgery she fine and there were no abnormalities. She went in for her annual check-up and it was this time that the surgeon noticed some scarring and became concerned as it looked bad. She was admitted to hospital overnight.
An ultrasound was performed which showed that an infection had developed under the scar. It was drained and dressed and then treated with antibiotics and the woman was able to leave hospital. However, once she got home, she began to have pain and there was a discharge with a foul smell leaking from her abdomen. She was embarrassed and self-conscious and worried about the leaking so she was referred to several specialists.
At this time, the doctors blamed the discharge on an infected stitch, rather than the real cause which was that her old belly button had been left inside her. So, in 2011, the woman decided she could make a trip to Portugal.
Just before she got on her flight to return home, she saw that where her old belly button should have been, there were blisters. Once on the plane, her belly button erupted unexpectedly, the contents of her stomach started to leak out and there was a foul smell which caused the passenger next to her to complain.
She was moved to an aisle seat so that the stewardess could dress the wound repeatedly as best she could. When she landed back home, her brother took her to another hospital where the wound was cleaned and properly dressed. She remained at this hospital declining an offer to return to the original hospital where the surgery was performed. It was at this second hospital that doctors discovered her old belly button remained inside her, had broken down, causing the leaking and the pain. The woman had reconstructive surgery to create a new belly button and now has no more problems.
The case was settled out of court and the surgeon who performed the original surgery awarded the woman £22,000 in compensation. The solicitor for the case commented that this case demonstrates that there can be problems even with standard cosmetic surgery procedures. Any surgery has its risks but the woman had the operation so she could feel better about herself but instead had years of embarrassment and pain. She is happy with the final outcome but is now fearful of any future surgical procedures.
Sadly more and more cases like this are being seen. If you suffer from medical negligence, make sure to speak out, and seek compensation.