Patient speaks out about private gall bladder operation ordeal 

20/08/2014

A man who was left needing reconstructive surgery after a gall bladder operation at a private hospital went badly wrong has spoken out about his ordeal.  

Antony Louca, 68, of Seven Oaks, Kent, required further major surgery after becoming seriously unwell when his bile duct was cut during the operation to remove his gall bladder. On Wednesday Mr Louca told his story to BBC News in a piece about patient safety in private hospitals. 

A report from think tank the Centre for Health and Public Interest released on Wednesday has pointed out gaps in the regulation of the private healthcare sector and stated that private hospitals should have to release the same amount of patient safety data as those in the NHS. 

Specialist solicitors at law firm JMW are investigating the care provided to Mr Louca following his ordeal. 

Mr Louca, a director at a chartered accountancy firm, commented: “What happened to me was incredibly traumatic and it is very worrying to think of the same thing happening to anyone else. My injury had a devastating impact and it is vital that it is taken very seriously by the surgeon and that lessons are learned to protect other patients.” 

Judith Farrow, Mr Louca’s solicitor at JMW, commented: “Mr Louca was left seriously unwell after his bile duct was cut and could have died. I have serious concerns about the care provided to him and will be investigating the circumstances of his injury closely.” 

Mr Louca underwent an operation to remove his gall bladder in December 2013 at a private hospital. 

The operation was carried out on 17 December and the following day Mr Louca was informed that he could go home that afternoon. Mr Louca says that following the operation he and his wife were not made aware that there had been any problems or complications. 

Around midnight the following day whilst back at home Mr Louca developed severe stomach pain and was violently sick. He called the hospital and was told to come in and he arrived at around 2.45am.

A surgeon prescribed antibiotics and Mr Louca was nil-by-mouth for four days during which time he lost a lot of weight as he was unable to eat. Procedures were carried out to try to relieve his symptoms, including fitting a stent to the lower part of his bile duct, but none were successful.

In January, weeks after the original operation, it came to light Mr Louca’s bile duct had been cut during the surgery to remove his gallbladder. 

Mr Louca says he was informed that he would need major reconstructive surgery but this would need to be carried out in London. Mr Louca was then transferred to a specialist at a private London hospital despite him raising concerns that his insurance policy did not cover London hospitals. However Mr Louca was informed that if that was the case work would be carried out under the NHS.

Mr Louca was then informed that his insurance company would only cover £22,000 of the cost of the £40,000 operation. Mr Louca says that due to the terrible condition he was in he agreed to pay the remaining £18,000 of the costs himself and he underwent reconstructive surgery on 14 January 2014.

Due to his ordeal Mr Louca says he lost 2.5 stone in weight and was jaundiced for three months. Mr Louca said he also had to take medication for months.  

Ends

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Kelly Hindle on the details below:

Kelly Hindle

D. 0161 828 1868

E. Kelly.hindle@jmw.co.uk 

Note to Editors

JMW Solicitors LLP is a leading Manchester law firm and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.JMW’s Clinical Negligence team is headed up by leading lawyer, Eddie Jones.  



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