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Hospital misdiagnosis leads to unnecessary operation

15/12/11: A 74 year old grandmother has received compensation from a hospital who removed her stomach in error. The woman who wishes to remain anonymous was under the care of a NHS trust in 2004 and underwent tests which led doctors to believe that she had cancer of the stomach and needed a major operation.

Surgery, known as a gastrectomy was carried out to completely remove the woman’s stomach. It is a complex and major procedure that requires a long period of recovery. Following the operation, although patients are able to digest, they have to eat smaller portions, opposed to large meals.

After the surgery had taken place, it became clear that the operation had not been necessary as the woman had never had stomach cancer. National press has reported that the woman has subsequently received a compensation payment after the NHS Trust accepted liability for the gaffe and admitted that she had received an unacceptable level of care.

The woman’s solicitor has commented to press that by far the most worrying element of the claim was that the error was not that of an individual, but had been perpetrated by an entire team of medical professionals.