Case study of a client who won her negligent breast surgery compensation claim after we took on her case under a No Win, No Fee agreement
The woman contacted us following a breast augmentation procedure that she underwent at Dolan Park Hospital in the West Midlands.
She had been referred by her GP to the breast clinic at Burton Hospital. The referral was made in respect of ongoing problems associated with her right breast following the breast augmentation procedure, where PIP implants had been used 3 years earlier at the New Look Clinic in Manchester.
She was seen in the breast clinic where the doctor noted that the right implant appeared to be “riding high with some degree of capsular contraction and a suggestion of possible underlying rupture”. The rupture of the left breast implant was subsequently confirmed by an MRI Scan.
Our client was then seen at the Dolan Park Hospital where she underwent bilateral exchange of the PIP implants. This involved a capsulectomy, which is where the surgeon cuts through scar tissue to open up the capsule in order to remove the breast implant. The left PIP implant was confirmed as being ruptured and the right implant showed a gel bleed. Larger 'Allergan Inspira N-TRF' 450ml implants were inserted.
Following the surgery, she was unhappy with the outcome. Post-operative X-Rays showed a severely distorted right breast which appeared to have significant capsular contracture, with bottoming out of the implant, and deep indentation in the midline below the NAC and a further indentation in the upper pole. The surgeon said that her only option was to undergo a mastopexy to lift up the sagging breast.
She was understandably concerned about the prospect of further surgery and therefore contacted our free legal helpline. We undertook a case assessment and concluded that she had good prospects of making a successful breast surgery compensation claim. Accordingly asked us to proceed with a breast surgery compensation claim under a no win – no fee agreement.
A formal Letter of Claim was submitted to the defendant. The allegations of negligence contained in the Letter of Claim focused on the defendant’s failure to properly advise our client. Although a mastopexy had been discussed with her at the outset she said that discussions had centred around a breast augmentation alone, with the possibility of a mastopexy at a later date if it became necessary. However, the expert evidence we obtained to support the case concluded that a breast augmentation alone would never have created an acceptable result and the only viable option she had was to undergo a mastopexy at the outset. Had our client been informed that a mastopexy was essential, she would have opted for this procedure, thereby avoiding an additional operation and all the associated costs and emotional trauma.
Legal responsibility was initially disputed by the other side, who said it was their intention to defend the negligent breast surgery compensation claim. However, an out of court settlement was eventually reached with the claimant receiving compensation for her ordeal.