British cancer patient wins six-figure amount after losing penis in botched operation

By @chelean on
Surgery
An English cancer patient has won a six-figure payout after a botched operation left him with flesh-eating bug that destroyed most of his penis. Creative Commons

An English cancer patient has won a six-figure payout after a botched operation left him with flesh-eating bug that destroyed most of his penis. Andrew Lane was undergoing surgery to remove his prostate gland in March 2013 at Southend Hospital in Essex when he contracted the potentially fatal infection necrotising fasciitis.

His bowel was punctured during the procedure, but the hospital staff didn’t notice the injury until six days later when he was rushed to the hospital to remove the contaminated skin. However, by that time, the damage was already so severe that his penis was reduced to an inch and a half in size. The tissue covering his stomach also had to be taken away.

The failed operation left Lane depressed as he can no longer have sex and bear to look at himself in the mirror. He is also in constant pain and is incontinent.

“My wife Sue and I have been together for 18 years and enjoyed a healthy sex life, but since this happened, that has been impossible. The desire is still there, but the little that’s left just doesn’t function anymore,” he said.

“It’s been a difficult thing to come to terms with for both of us. I know Sue still loves me, but I do feel less of a man.”

He added, “Because I have no muscle tissue, my intestines just hang out and I look like I’m nine months pregnant. I’m at greater risk of hernias and I have two so I’m in constant pain. I used to be sporty and proud of my body, but now I can’t bear to look in the mirror.”

Lane and his wife wed after the fateful operation. The couple, who both work as carers, had dreamt of travelling when they retired, but after the surgery, “that’s out of the question now.”

Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust admitted “failures” in diagnosing Lane’s bowel injury. After a five-year legal battle, the Trust said there were a delay in the process. Had they done sooner by arranging a CT scan, Lane’s injury would have not worsened.

The Trust settled the case for an undisclosed six-figure sum.

“They’ve admitted their mistake, but I’ve not had an apology and knowing that just a scan a few days earlier would have prevented all of this is very difficult to accept,” Lane continued. “I’ve been compensated, but I’ll never get m health back and I just want other people to be aware of how dangerous this fleshes-eating bug is.

“If you don’t feel you are getting the right treatment, you have got to speak out.”

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