During 2008, one of our clients (aged 26) attended her GP complaining of a lump in her throat. The GP thought that it might be a thyroid lump and, eventually, she was referred to Great Western Hospital for investigation.
During the course of one of her consultations, she was advised that it was likely that the lump may be malignant and she should have the whole thyroid gland removed. Acting on this advice, she underwent a total thyroidectomy. Because she was so concerned about what she had been told, she opted to pay for private surgery, which could be arranged sooner than the surgery on the NHS. This took place during August 2008.
Following the procedure, she was advised that the lump was in fact benign and not malignant. Our client later discovered that the risk of it being malignant was only 20 – 30% and she should have initially undergone a procedure known as a lobectomy, not a total thyroidectomy, and she would thereby have avoided the need for lifelong thyroxine replacement treatment.
It was our case that the surgeon in question failed to obtain informed consent from our client. She had agreed to have a total thyroidectomy on the basis of false information. If she had been given the full facts, she would not have agreed to this procedure but would have opted for a lobectomy. She also would not have incurred the cost of private surgery if she had been properly advised as to the risks of likely malignancy.
Correspondence was exchanged between our firm and the hospital, who disputed liability. Proceedings had to be issued and shortly after they had been served upon the hospital’s solicitors, the parties were able to reach a settlement of this claim.
S. J. Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £17,500 for this client in 2012