United Kingdom

Woman is awarded £150,000 after she had 'completely unnecessary' vaginal reconstruction surgery

A woman has been awarded £150,000 after she had a 'completely unnecessary' vaginal reconstruction surgery for a condition that could have been treated with cream.  

The woman, in her 40s at the time, had her clitoris removed during the operation and was left unable to urinate normally or enjoy sex, which affected her marriage.

She suffered an 'inflammatory condition' which should have been treated with moisturisers, but instead she was offered surgery by a consultant.

The woman, who has not been named, agreed to the surgery which was carried out privately at the Spire Hospital in Anlaby, Hull, East Yorkshire.

The surgeon, who also remained unidentified, denied negligence but lawyers say that they secured a £150,000 out of court settlement, which was taken directly against the surgeon.

The woman, who has not been named, agreed to the surgery which was carried out privately at the Spire Hospital (pictured above) in Anlaby, Hull, East Yorkshire

Solicitor Michelle Tebbutt, of Hudgell Solicitors, based in Hull, said: 'Our client had previously been seen by another consultant who had reported no sign of malignancy on a biopsy and concluded that a superficial vulvectomy was not required.

'However, when she saw a second consultant at Hull Royal Infirmary some weeks later and asked about surgery, that surgeon indicated that all conservative medical measures had been exhausted, which was incorrect.

'It was our case that he should have advised her that not only was such surgery going to cosmetically alter her, but that it would also not have cured her condition.

'Given the wrong advice she decided to have the surgery and go private. She had the operation which the surgeon carried out at a local private hospital, which included removal of the clitoris and plastic surgical reconstruction.

'It has led to cosmetic deformities and a need for repeated revisional surgeries, all of which have had a severe impact on her life.

'The guidelines are clear that such radical surgery should not be offered unless there are concerns of malignancy or scarring sufficient to disable the patient's natural function.

The surgeon, who also remained unidentified, denied negligence but lawyers secured a £150,000 out of court settlement, which was taken directly against the surgeon, not the hospital (file photo above)

'This had been ruled out; therefore surgery should never have been indicated or agreed. It was completely unnecessary.'

She added: 'Our client should never have been listed for this surgery. She should have been referred to a dermatologist and treated conservatively.

'Understandably this has had a significant psychological effect on my client's life and has impacted on her marriage.

'We were pleased to be able to secure this settlement and my hope is that this case helps to ensure this type of life-changing surgery, where there is no clinical indication that it is needed, will not happen again.'

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