This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team who recently acted for a patient who underwent two negligently performed breast augmentation procedures, leaving her with unsightly breast implants.
The claimant saw a consultant plastic surgeon on a private basis in Hythe, Kent for advice regarding possible breast enhancement. The surgeon recommended bilateral breast augmentation and surgery was performed on 11 October 2006.
The claimant was concerned about the appearance of her breast following surgery. She could feel the implant moving around.
The surgeon offered revision surgery to insert a bigger implant. He advised that this would be better at filling out the excess skin and looseness on the front of the breasts.
Revision surgery went ahead on 16 January 2007. The surgeon inserted larger implants.
Following revision surgery, the claimant was extremely concerned about the appearance of her breasts and felt that the second operation had brought no improvement whatsoever.
The surgeon offered further revision surgery to insert even bigger implants. The claimant was reluctant to undergo any further operations under the care of the surgeon.
She consulted Thomson Snell & Passmore with a hope to obtain compensation to enable her to undergo private treatment with a different surgeon.
We obtained expert evidence from an independent plastic surgeon specialising in breast enhancement surgery. He advised that the claimant had thin skin and ptotic (droopy) breasts.
Accordingly, whilst it was reasonable of the surgeon to offer the first breast augmentation, offering a revision breast augmentation with the only change to be to increase the size of the cup, would inevitably lead to a poor result. Putting in a larger implant would not fill out the excess skin and the only way to achieve this would be to tighten the skin envelope, which the surgeon had not done.
The claimant had therefore undergone an unnecessary operation. In order to correct the damage she would need to undergo further surgery under general anaesthetic by way of reduction in implant volume and mastopexy.
A letter of claim was sent to the defendant who was represented by the Medical Protection Society (MPS) setting out the allegations of negligence.
Eventually, a letter of response was received from the MPS denying liability. The MPS were not willing to settle the claim. We therefore issued proceedings and the MPS passed the case onto solicitors who were persuaded to negotiate settlement. A low offer was received in the sum of £10,000.
We convinced the defendant to increase their offer and after some negotiation damages were finally agreed in the sum of £14,000 plus costs. The claimant was extremely happy with the result which would allow her to get the revision surgery she has been waiting for over four years.
Jennifer Waight specialises in clinical negligence cases. If you would like to ask Jennifer a question about a potential case involving breast surgery or you have a general query about medical negligence, contact her on 01892 701374 in confidence.