A 74-year old woman and grandmother of two who lives in a town on the southeast coast of England is suing the hospital trust where she was left deformed after botched surgery medical negligence, when surgery was done for breast reconstruction.
She had undergone a mastectomy for breast cancer in the early 1990s and was referred to this doctor eight years later. He was planning to do a complicated TRAM flap procedure which removes muscle and tissue from the abdomen and transfers it to the breast. However, he failed to tell the woman what the risks of the surgery were and that he did not have the necessary experience to perform the surgery. The woman, however, had faith in him as he was persuasive and she believed in what he was telling her.
The operation failed and an infection resulted but the doctor sent her home. The doctor tried to remove the infection, but this time there was deformed skin at the top of her breast and a black scar with a pattern like a tortoise shell on her stomach. He then tried to repair this damage and operated on the dead skin and scar tissue but there was severe bleeding as a result.
The infection which the woman had contracted was septicemia, a deadly infection of the blood. The doctor did not keep accurate notes of his procedures and so was able to cover it up. The woman commented that she could not get out bed and could not eat as food tasted like poison. Her husband commented that they were not aware of the extent of her illness but did know that she was left deformed.
The woman was able to survive and learned how to live her life to the best of her abilities. Bathing became embarrassing and she could no longer shop for clothes, which is something she used to enjoy doing. Trousers do not fit well as the waist band interferes with the scar tissue and bars and nightgowns are still uncomfortable.
Then the news about the negligence of the doctor hit the headlines with 75 other misconduct charges against this doctor relating to 16 patients dating back to 1989. These included operations which had been bungled, mistakes that were covered up and serious conditions which were misdiagnosed. It was at this point that woman decided to re-evaluate her treatments.
It became apparent that she had come close to death and that the doctor was not qualified to perform the breast reconstruction. It has made her very upset to know that he should have done the operation which has caused her a great of personal trauma and the physical and emotional scars of her near-death experience are still haunting her. That she survived as opposed to other cancer patients who did not from operations performed by this doctor is not sufficient comfort.
The doctor has been taken off the medical register and can no longer practice but the woman is planning to sue the hospital trust. If something like this has happened to you, make sure to sue.