Clinical Negligence

Substandard breast augmentation surgery

This clinical negligence case arose out of substandard breast augmentation surgery. Consequently, Ms WR suffered asymmetry of breast shape and a misshapen areola. She required revision surgery.

From a young age, due to developmental malformation, Ms WR was under the care of a breast clinic in Brighton. She had bilateral reconstructions at the age of 17 and 18. All treatment was carried out under the NHS.

In October 2014, she was referred by her GP to a consultant breast surgeon with pain and hardness in the left breast. There was no evidence of rupture. She was advised that the pain and change in appearance was due to a thick capsule and that a new implant would not be covered under the NHS. Recourse would be through the private sector. Nothing further was done at that time.

In December 2017, Ms WR was referred back to an NHS breast consultant due to ongoing pain and discomfort.

She was advised that the left implant was harder and higher with palpable Becker ports on both sides. She was advised that they would not be able to remove and replace both implants under the NHS. The implants could be removed under the NHS, and replaced privately.

In October 2017, Ms WR decided to proceed with surgery.

In January 2018, Ms WR was admitted to an NHS hospital for bilateral removal of implants. There were no complications.

In May 2018, Ms WR was admitted to a private hospital for bilateral breast augmentation and crescentic mastopexy.

By June 2018, Ms WR reported to the surgeon that she was unhappy with the results of the operation, especially the right breast. On examination, it was noted that there was some tenderness in the right breast and asymmetry between the right and left breast. She was advised that both breasts would settle and shape over the next three to six months.

By February 2019, Ms WR was still unhappy with the outcome. She was concerned that her right breast had still not dropped. On examination, there was slight lateral fullness and nipple to notch distance was different on each side. She was advised to undergo a periareolar mastopexy on the right hand side. This was completed in April 2019.

In June/July 2019, Ms WR called the private hospital for a further private appointment but she was advised that the consultant no longer worked at the private hospital.

Ms WR sought a second opinion, which confirmed that the right implant was sitting too far laterally and that she required further revision surgery to correct asymmetry.

We were contacted by Ms WR to investigate a clinical negligence claim. At the time of instruction, the limitation date was imminent. Contact was made with the private surgeon for a limitation extension, but an unconditional agreement was not forthcoming. Accordingly, court proceedings were issued. An agreement was obtained to stay proceedings whilst investigations were completed.

Medical records were requested, and a report was obtained from a consultant reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgeon.

A letter of claim setting out the allegations of negligence was sent to the defendant. The defendant denied liability but nonetheless the defendant agreed to a financial settlement.

Christina Mallery specialises in claims relating to plastic surgery. If you would like to ask Christina a question about a potential clinical negligence claim, or if you have a general query about any personal injury claim, contact Christina at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701183 in confidence.

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