A woman sued a hospital in England after she said she was given breast implants without her consent following surgery for a double mastectomy.
Donna Finegan-White, 44, of Swindon, Wiltshire says she elected to have the double mastectomy—which took place in October 2014 at Great Western Hospital in Swindon—in order to reduce her risk of breast cancer following a history of the disease in her family, according to Fox News.
Donna’s mother was diagnosed with, treated for, and survived breast cancer at age 50, and her aunt died from the disease at age 50.
“I suffered a great deal of pain and trauma for months because of the implants that never signed up for.”
After the surgery, Donna said she woke up from anesthesia to discover she had been given breast implants without her consent.
“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,” she told the Daily Mail. “Yet, I woke up with implants, which I had never signed for in the consultations with the surgeon.” Donna added that she “felt shocked and very upset and frustrated as it was completely unexpected.”
Donna said the implants were larger than the breasts she had removed, and she had to seek medical help several times for severe pain and swelling in her breasts, as well as for a “severe psychological reaction,” during the years after her mastectomy.
“I just feel totally let down and angry by the care I received.”
She finally underwent surgery to remove the implants in February 2016 only to find she required subsequent emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening blood clot that developed following the removal of her implants.
Donna sued Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundations Trust following the ordeal. “We put a great deal of trust in medical staff, relying on them for expert care,” Donna said. “I just feel totally let down and angry by the care I received.”
The hospital denied acting negligently, but said the incident and issue of whether Donna consented fell below “reasonable standards.” The claim was ultimately settled out of court.
“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,” James Pink, a medical negligence lawyer who represented Donna, told the Daily Mail. He also asked the hospital to realize “the importance of ensuring policies and checks surrounding patient consent are upheld at all times.”
“I suffered a great deal of pain and trauma for months because of the implants that never signed up for,” Donna said. “By speaking out I hope my story reminds hospitals of the importance of upholding patient consent.”
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