A 62-year-old man who had his testicle chopped off by a surgeon is suing the NHS.
The unnamed father-of-two was originally diagnosed with a hydrocele, a common and non-harmful type of swelling in one of his testicles.
Consultant urologist Ashutosh Jain, at Furness General Hospital in Barrow, Cumbria, performed a 30-minute procedure to drain the lump in April.
But an alleged error caused the testicle to become infected, and the patient had to go back under the knife two days later to have the whole thing removed.
When the man woke up, he was shocked to see his right testicle was missing – as he claims he hadn’t been told exactly what he was going back into theatre for.
The man is taking morphine to relieve the agonising pain of the surgery and is too embarrassed to undress in front of his wife.
A 62-year-old man’s testicle was removed after it became infected following a routine procedure at Furness General Hospital in Barrow, Cumbria (pictured)
The patient, from Barrow, said: ‘I looked down and saw I was missing a testicle.
‘I didn’t know what to say; I was just in shock. A consultant took me for an ultrasound and said “I’ve never seen such a bloody mess in my life”.
‘That first op was botched and I am in no doubt that Mr Jain did something that ended up cutting off the blood supply to my testicle.’
The supposedly simple operation to drain the swollen testicle was carried out in April of this year.
The man’s GP had referred him to hospital after he complained of painful swelling on his right testicle, which led to a diagnosis of hydrocele, swelling that occurs when fluid collects in the thin sheath around a testicle.
After the operation, the patient woke up to find a vacuum drain had been inserted and left underneath the skin to remove more fluid.
The man claims this was not checked or emptied for 24 hours.
Two days later, in excruciating pain with the swelling having grown, the man asked to see a doctor and he was rushed back into theatre by a different surgeon.
When he woke up, he was shocked to see his right testicle was missing – as he claims he hadn’t been told exactly what he was going back into theatre for.
Mr Jain carried out the first procedure but there is no suggestion the second doctor did anything wrong and the testicle had to be removed due to infection.
Although patients can usually go home on the same day as a hydrocele repair op, the man had to stay in hospital for 12 days.
The patient has now obtained copies of the operation reports, which revealed less than 48 hours after the first op, a surgeon found the testicle was ‘black and unlikely to recover’.
They also showed the surgeon consulted another colleague who told him to ‘excise the dead testicle’, and a photo was taken of the gangrenous testicle – but this image was not in the patient’s records.
A formal complaint to the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) was lodged.
In July, the complaint was upgraded to a serious clinical incident and hospital bosses have launched an investigation which is due to be completed by the end of October.
But now, the patient has instructed medical negligence expert lawyer Michelle Armstrong.
He said he has been left with a painful lump where his testicle was and is taking morphine as a consequence of the surgery.
The removed testicle has also had a huge impact on the patient’s life and self-confidence, as he says he won’t allow his wife to see him undressed.
He suffers night sweats, which may or may not be caused by low testosterone levels.
Dr Shahedal Bari, director of UHMBT, said: ‘Since the patient contacted us about his concerns we have started a full investigation and will share our findings with him.
‘When a patient has concerns, it is important that we listen, recognise their concerns, apologise for any suffering caused and act to prevent any further mistakes. Our priorities are patient safety and care so we want to ensure that they are of the highest possible standard.
‘The fact that the patient has spoken to a solicitor with a view to legal action will not prevent us from reviewing his case and learning from the findings.’
WHAT IS A HYDROCELE?
A type of swelling in the scrotum that occurs when fluid collects in the thin sheath surrounding a testicle.
Hydrocele is common in newborns, affecting around 10 per cent, and usually disappears without treatment by age one.
Older boys and adult men can develop a hydrocele due to inflammation or injury within the scrotum.
A hydrocele usually isn’t painful or harmful and might not need any treatment.
Usually, the only indication of a hydrocele is a painless swelling of one or both testicles.
Adult men with a hydrocele might experience discomfort from the heaviness of a swollen scrotum.
Pain generally increases with the size of the inflammation.
See your doctor if you or your child experiences scrotal swelling.
It’s important to rule out other causes of the swelling that might require treatment.
Get immediate medical treatment if you or your child develops sudden, severe scrotal pain or swelling, especially within several hours of an injury to the scrotum.
These signs and symptoms can occur with a number of conditions, including blocked blood flow in a twisted testicle (testicular torsion).
Testicular torsion must be treated within hours of the beginning of signs and symptoms to save the testicle.
Source: Mayo Clinic