Following a diagnosis of cancer in her right breast, Donna from Skegness agreed to undergo a mastectomy and a prosthetic reconstruction at Lincoln County Hospital in September 2009.
At the time it was decided that the best course of action during surgery to remove the cancer was also to augment Donna’s left breast.
Initially, the left breast healed well following the breast augmentation. A tissue expander and prosthesis was used to stretch the skin over the right breast area in preparation for the insertion of an implant. Saline was then injected into the prosthesis until it reached the correct size to match the left breast. It was then decided that Donna should have a permanent implant fitted.
Medical records show that surgery took place to put an implant into the right breast in January 2010. However, records also show that the implant was much smaller than was required to fill the prepared space and to ensure both breasts were equal size. The following week Donna had to return to A&E. She was shivering and complaining of pain in her right breast which was swollen and the incision wound leaking. The next day, the implant was removed.
Donna was then treated at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and was advised that she would be best served by creating some new skin for breast reconstruction in the form of a latissimus dorsi flap, a procedure that uses muscle and skin from the upper back to create a new breast mound.
Donna made a formal complaint to the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, alleging that the original implant ordered and used to reconstruct the right breast was of inadequate volume and that the choice of size implied the surgeon was inexperienced in breast reconstruction. In addition, there was a failure to take clinical photographs.
If the correct implant had been used, Donna would have avoided delayed right breast reconstruction at the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, avoided additional scarring, further surgical procedures and a prolonged recovery period.
After seeing a TV advert, Donna contacted Hudgell Solicitors who were able to settle her claim for compensation.