Damages recovered for botched mastectomy performed by surgical Professor negligently recruited by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.

8th December 2022 – Our client, Mrs P from Dover, Kent found a lump in her right breast in May 2019 which was investigated and found to be a Grade 3 pleomorphic lobular carcinoma without metastases.

The best course of treatment was a right breast mastectomy with sentinel node biopsy. This was performed by a Professor Gopal Mahadev at the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, Kent on 12.09.2019.

During recovery our client suffered with a seroma which required repeated drainage as well as severe shoulder pain. When the wounds had healed and the bandages were removed Mrs P was extremely upset about the cosmetic appearance of her chest describing it was a ‘mess’ and that she felt ‘mutilated’.

She was unable to wear a bra with a prosthesis due to the discomfort caused by the scarring. All this greatly affected her mental state.

Mrs P was referred to the Plastic Surgery Department at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead where the assessment was that the mastectomy scar was lumpy, extremely tethered and tight. She was offered reconstructive surgery but was fearful of having to undergo major surgery for a second time.

Her treating doctors advised her to submit a formal complaint which she did in February 2020. In August 2020 she received a Root Cause Analysis Report from the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust indicated that there were ongoing investigations into the outcome of surgeries performed by Professor Mahadev on 11 patients between August 2019 and November 2019. The report confirmed that the surgeon was no longer working within the Trust and that the General Medical Council were conducting investigations into his practice.

Further the report admitted that during the recruitment of Professor Mahadev the Trust had failed to seek details of his previous employment from his former Responsible Officer, which would have alerted them to pre-existing problems with his practice dating back to 2017.

Professor Mahadev is currently being investigated by the General Medical Council and a hearing has been part heard into the allegations against him. It is said that despite referring to himself as a ‘plastic surgeon’ who had performed abdominoplasty surgery many times he had in fact not completed any formal training in abdominoplasty surgery. Further he held specialist registration with the GMC in the specialty of General Surgery and not Plastic Surgery. Thus his actions were allegedly dishonest. Further failings are also alleged including inadequate recording, poor communication and failure to provide good clinical care.

Sadly, during the early stages of the claim, Mrs P passed away for reasons unrelated to the negligence.

Her son, Mr P, took over the claim, knowing how important it had been to his mum that her case was brought to justice. Supportive expert input was obtained from a plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon on the basis of photographs that Mrs P took before her death. Our expert confirmed that the scarring was of poor quality, with puckered excess skin and tissue and oedematous skin on the inferior flap all of which indicated poor surgical care below the reasonable standard expected.

After some discussion with the Trust settlement was achieved with agreement from Mrs P’s family.

The solicitor with conduct of this case, Francesca Beach, commented: ‘I am so glad that this case has been brought to fruition in Mrs P’s memory. I know how passionate she was about making sure what happened to her didn’t continue to happen. The Trust acted sensibly on realising their error in hiring Professor Mahdev however sadly this was too late for Mrs P and the other women he had already treated. ’

If you or your family need the assistance of an experienced team of Clinical Negligence Solicitors surrounding an inquest or civil claim then please do not hesitate to phone us free on 0800 999 5585, request a call back or submit your case details.