Woman, 44, was shocked to wake from surgery for double mastectomy to find she had breast implants

A mother-of-two who was given breast implants during a double mastectomy which she claims she had not asked for has spoken of later being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Distraught Donna Finegan-White, from Swindon, was diagnosed with a rare terminal cancer of her trachea in March.

She received the devastating news after undergoing a double-mastectomy, during which the 44-year-old was given breast implants without her consent. 

She received a £10,000 payout but is suing The Great Western Hospital a second time after claiming doctors missing the cancer on X-rays nearly a decade ago. 

Donna Finegan-White, 44, woke up in hospital to find she had been given larger-then-before breast implants. She had to have them removed and went on to have more surgery after a blood clot developed after the removal

She said: ‘I’m fuming, it’s not just one mistake that place has made.

‘They’ve made the mistake with me, not just once but twice.’

Ms Finegan-White underwent the double-mastectomy to reduce the risk of her developing breast cancer. 

She had the surgery in October 2014 after both her late mother, Carol Manola and her aunt were diagnosed with the disease.  

Donna had asked for ‘temporary expanders’ – which stretch the skin and pectoral muscle – to be implanted immediately following the mastectomy, a spokesman for Irwin Mitchell claimed.

He said instead she received permanent sub-pectoral breast implants, without her consent.  

She said: ‘I expected to come out of the surgery risk free of breast cancer and without permanent implants as this is what had been agreed upon. 

The Great Western Hospital in Swindon where a woman was given  breast implant surgery without her consent 

The Great Western Hospital in Swindon where a woman was given breast implant surgery without her consent 

‘Yet, I woke up with implants, which I had never signed for in the consultations with the surgeon. At this point, I felt shocked and very upset and frustrated as it was completely unexpected.’

Following the surgery Donna, who has a son and a daughter, sought medical help several times for severe pain and swelling in her breasts and suffered a significant psychological reaction.

She finally underwent corrective surgery to remove the implants on 23 February, 2016.

However, Ms Finegan-White had to undergo further emergency surgery to remove a blood clot that had developed following the removal of the implants that could have killed her.

She added: ‘We put a great deal of trust in medical staff, relying on them for expert care. I just feel totally let down and angry by the care I received.

‘I suffered a great deal of pain and trauma for months because of the implants that I never signed up for.

‘By speaking out I hope my story reminds hospitals of the importance of upholding patient consent.’

Ms Finegan-White has called on hospital trusts to ensure they honour the wishes of patients.

She instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the level of care she received from Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Donna Finegan-White was shocked when she had breast implants inserted without her permission after she had a double mastectomy 

Donna Finegan-White was shocked when she had breast implants inserted without her permission after she had a double mastectomy 

The trust denied it had acted negligently but admitted the issue of whether Donna consented to the implants fell below ‘reasonable standards’. It settled the matter out of court.

James Pink, expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Donna, said: ‘Donna had undergone counselling at the request of the Hospital Trust to prepare psychologically for double mastectomy so was incredibly shocked and upset to come out of surgery with implants she had not consented to.

‘This was already a distressing time and this just compounded her problems.

‘The NHS had shown care and compassion in helping Donna prepare for her surgery. However, what was meant to be an operation designed to reduce the risk of Donna being diagnosed with breast cancer ended up causing her much unnecessary distress and suffering.

‘We now call on the NHS Trust to ensure it learns lessons from Donna’s case and realises the importance of ensuring policies and checks surrounding patient consent are upheld at all times.’

A spokeswoman for Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘We were given consent by the patient for implants in 2014, we did not act negligently and the case was settled in 2016.

‘We have clear and effective consent processes that are followed across the Trust, which outline the risks that patients may face during and after any surgery, including the common risk of blood clots. Based on this case we are further strengthening our consent processes.’

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