A WOMAN was left with a life-threatening blood clot following the removal of breast implants that were put in without her permission

Donna Finegan-White, from Swindon, elected to undergo a double mastectomy to reduce the risk of her being diagnosed with breast cancer following a history of the disease in her family.

But when the 44-year-old mum of two came round from her anaesthetic following her operation at Great Western Hospital, she was shocked to discover that she had permanent implants. They were larger than the breasts she had removed.

Donna, who lives in the Railway Village, 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. Yet, I woke up with implants, which I had never signed for in the consultations with the surgeon.

“I felt shocked and upset and frustrated as it was completely unexpected.”

Following the surgery Donna sought medical help several times for severe pain and swelling in her breasts and suffering a significant psychological reaction.

She underwent corrective surgery to remove the implants in February 2016. But Donna had to undergo further emergency surgery to remove a blood clot that had developed following the removal of the implants which threatened her life.

Donna added: “We put a great deal of trust in medical staff and 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. I hope my story reminds hospitals of the importance of upholding patient consent.”

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

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

Donna had consulted with her GP and surgeons about the surgery after her mum was diagnosed, treated and survived breast cancer at 50 and her aunt died from the disease also at 50. She underwent the mastectomy in October 2014.

James Pink, expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “What was meant to be an operation to reduce the risk of Donna being diagnosed with breast cancer ended up causing her much unnecessary distress. We call on the Trust to learn lessons and realise the importance of ensuring checks surrounding consent are upheld.”

Great Western Hospital issued a statement about the case.

It 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.”