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Hospital DR mis diagnosis and subsequent complications.

Midlands Mum
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I will try and keep this factual rather than too much anger and emotion!


I had breast reduction surgery in August 2006. All seemed well, apart from my right breast was always more painful and more swollen. This was almost inferred that i was imagining it and that of course i was in pain and all was well.

After 5 days at home, I was given an antibiotic after talking over the phone to my GP as although the hospital said to call if any problems.... when i did they said you are back home now call your GP!!!( the Hospital where i had the op was the next county). Anyway bit of a placebo effect with me, i felt much better once i believed the medication had kicked in.


I had various wound dressings changed, initially at my local Hospital , to save the journey to where i had the op ( 30 mins drive away), then every other day at my local GP's. Have to say nurses were amazing, and so were the receptionists juggling appts to fit me in.


Still my right breast was more painful and a few times was given antibiotics to clear it up. All seemed ok , although i felt really ill, tired and drained. Thinking i was being a wimp i made myself do more , although never could get any energy to start my gym workout. According to friends i looked dreadful .


I had my follow up appt with my surgeon at the neighbouring county and explained that my right breast was painful,hard and would swell up and be pink , particularly at night. I also explained how unwell i felt. She barely examined me! All she did was LOOK at my breasts and say it was fat neurosis ( apologies for spelling) and i needed to massage them both regularly. I checked if i should do this if painful and was told yes. At no time did she examine fully. My perspective was she needed to touch the difference in the breasts. Is this PC gone mad? She was a woman and i couldnt have cared less who medically touched me anyway.


We went on holiday to Jersey in October and i could no longer hide the pain i was in . It hurt so much to massage my breast as suggested,but i continued. I didnt want the romantic get away ruined so tried to carry on as normal, culminating in almost collapsing when out shopping and had to see a local GP in jersey. He examined me properly( not just sight, touch and proper thorough exam), and said i had an infection and must return to my own Gp as soon as i was home. He said DO NOT massage . He gave me an antibiotic and pain killers/


Unfortunately this antibiotic didnt work , so by the time i arrived home i was extremely ill and in constant pain. GP got me on another antibiotic and referred to me to the local breast clinic.


Anyway constant long drama, on antibiotics for ages, went to local hospital A @ E twice, whilst waiting for referral. My previous wound ripped open and the majority of infection poured out whilst in hospital.


Had to have socondary op , to clean infection out and the wound was then left open with a corrugated drain in ...... It was the most painful time EVER.


Touch wood, all ok now, but i am really annoyed that my initial surgeon mis diagnosed me and subsequently a whole can of worms emerged......If she had examined me PROPERLY and listened , perhaps antibiotics could have stopped all of this. ( the local surgeon said i had had the infection since my surgery). I understand its not always possible to be 100% , but i was with her no more than 5 mins and she was clearly rushing.


I did complain in writing at the time, but due to secondary op and complications, problems with work trying to get rid of me and trying to care for a foster child all at once, i let it drop.


What , if anything can i do? Who do i write to? I wrote to hospital before and they took ages to respond trying to set up a meeting.


This is not a witch hunt, but i would hate someone else to go through all this.


thanks Midlands Mum

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You are still in time to make a formal complaint to your hospital. A letter to the Chief Exec would be sufficient. They should respond after fully investigating after 25 days (I'm not sure if the timescales differ across the country). If you are not satisfied you can escalate to the Ombudsman. It will take time.


I would have thought that a simple blood test would have highlighted an infection.


I quite understand that you would not want this to happen to anyone else, and I fully support your complaint. I will keep my fingers crossed that the hospital management and consultant will 'learn' from this error.

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