We have dealt with a substantial claim for damages for a client seriously injured as a result of a gastric banding procedure performed privately by Professor Nadey Hakim.
Our client consulted Professor Hakim with a view to considering gastric banding/weight loss surgery. She was reassured by him that it was a straightforward procedure and that he was very experienced and therefore decided to go ahead. During the surgery she suffered a significant bleed. Professor Hakim continued with the banding procedure and completed the surgery. However it became apparent that her condition was deteriorating – due to further bleeding. There was some notable delay before she was transferred as an emergency from the private clinic to a hospital with full facilities. Our client had to undergo significant further emergency surgery and a very prolonged recovery. She has been left with extensive abdominal scarring and a significant psychiatric injury as a result of being partly conscious during her deterioration and emergency care and appreciating therefore the severity of her condition at the time.
A claim was brought against Professor Hakim for failing to warn our client of the risk of the procedure being converted to an open procedure if there were any complications (and therefore of significant scarring) and in relation to his management of our client after the bleed (the cause of the bleed itself was not due to any error but a recognised risk of the procedure). It was our client’s case that had she been advised of the risk of conversion to an open procedure, she would not have undergone the procedure at all – it was an elective procedure designed only to improve the way that she looked and felt about herself and her evidence is that she was not keen enough on the surgical option to take the risk of the scarring. In relation to the care during surgery it was alleged that Professor Hakim failed to control the bleeding and transfer our client in a timely fashion – leading to her significant deterioration and her involvement in the subsequent emergency events.
Initially Professor Hakim’s defence organisation completely failed to respond to presentation of the case at all and so we issued court proceedings. Liability was denied but the matter was settled for a substantial sum following negotiations. The case was managed by Philippa Luscombe, partner in the clinical negligence team, assisted by Amy Milner.