Double mastectomy leads to infected breast implant and necrosis - £70,000

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Double mastectomy leads to infected breast implant and necrosis - £70,000

‘Tina’, 38

Rebecca Cahill, a specialist medical negligence solicitor at JMW, represented ‘Tina’ in a legal battle over a hospital’s delay to diagnose a severely infected breast implant which meant the tissue around the area broke down and became necrotic. Rebecca supported Tina in her claim against the hospital and was successful in obtaining £70,000 in compensation for her.

Failed surgery

Tina was known to carry a gene which meant that she was at high risk of developing breast cancer and she underwent a double mastectomy as a precautionary measure.  Due to her small frame, the surgery would involve inserting tissue expanders to help slowly stretch the skin, for Tina to have implants inserted at a later date.  However, when Tina was under anaesthesia, doctors realised that the tissue expanders were not available, and large implants were therefore inserted straight away. This had not been discussed with Tina prior to the operation.

Within three weeks, Tina had developed necrosis in the left breast and the reconstruction slowly broke down. After three months of attempts to treat the breakdown conservatively, Tina’s wound was leaking discharge and a large area of skin around her breast had deteriorated, exposing the implant in two places. 

Tina underwent surgery to remove the implant and now wears a prosthesis until she feels ready to have further reconstructive surgery elsewhere.  Unfortunately, she suffered an extremely poor cosmetic outcome, with significant scarring, which has affected her self-confidence and mental health.    

Successful medical negligence case

Tina was put in touch with JMW and her case was taken on by the specialist medical negligence team. Tina was concerned that the hospital had negligently inserted the implants, causing her surgery to fail.

There was a significant delay from the hospital in responding to the allegations. However, JMW were able to provide evidence that the hospital had failed to obtain Tina’s informed consent and failed to recognise that she would be at an increased risk of post-operative problems by inserting large implants straight away.

JMW’s investigation also revealed that the hospital was negligent in managing Tina’s necrosis, which developed after her surgery.  They mistakenly treated her for an infection, and failed to recognise that the breast tissue had started to die (ischemia). Had she been treated appropriately, the ischemia would have resolved, and Tina would have avoided her significant post-operative issues, and the loss of her implant. 

The hospital trust agreed to pay Tina £70,000 in compensation for her pain and suffering and the psychological impact of her injury.

Talk to Us

If you wish to make a claim for compensation following medical negligence, simply call JMW today and we can help. Call us on 0345 872 6666 or fill out an online contact form to arrange a callback.

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