Unnecessary surgery following mis-diagnosis of breast cancer

The patient found a lump on her right breast positioned behind the nipple. An early mammogram and ultrasound were performed followed by a fine needle aspiration biopsy. The results stated “malignant cells present” and the patient was told that the best treatment option would be a mastectomy because of the position of the lump followed by chemotherapy.

A modified radical right mastectomy with axillary clearance of the lymph nodes was carried out. When the patient attended at the hospital 8 days later for removal of her stitches she was informed that the histopathology findings of the excised breast showed no evidence of cancer and that the lymph nodes showed no evidence of the disease. A review of the fine needle aspiration biopsy was undertaken and no evidence of malignant disease detected. It was confirmed to the patient that she never had cancer and the initial cytology was incorrect.

The patient suffered with loss of axillary sensation, loss of grip in her right hand and with significant psychological damage as a result of the unnecessary right mastectomy.

The claim settled with a substantial payment to the Claimant in respect of both her physical and psychological symptoms

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