A DOCTOR’S treatment of a young woman when she became gravely ill following breast augmentation surgery at a cosmetic surgery clinic in Co Wicklow was branded “absolutely reckless in the extreme” yesterday at a Medical Council fitness to practise inquiry. The inquiry heard Kate Murray (25) developed a severe infection after the operation at Cosmedico in Kilmacanogue on March 15th, 2008, but despite returning to the clinic several times and complaining of being in serious pain, the infection was not diagnosed until she was taken by ambulance from her home in south Dublin to St Vincent’s hospital on April 3rd.
Her breast surgery was carried out by Dr Marco Loiacono (35), who faced several allegations of professional misconduct arising out of his failure to provide her with proper post-operative care, including failing to take or review blood test results or to refer her to hospital.
The fitness to practice committee found him guilty of professional misconduct and recommended he be struck off. It also recommended steps be taken to ensure cosmetic surgery clinics attain proper standards of pre- and post-operative care.
Cosmetic surgery is routine and pretty safe in the right hands, but can get scary when corners are cut. In this case an Irish clinic doctor performed breast implant surgery and then neglected to see the patient for nearly a week despite reports from the patient that she was ill. One of the most important parts of a patient:surgeon interaction is proper follow-up. The care doesn’t end when the surgery is complete.
Interesting in this story is the fact that Ireland has a review system similar to that which we have here in California. It appears that an expert reviewer looked over the case to assist in classifying the care of the patient. I perform a similar job for the California Medical Board.
As such a reviewer it is often hard to tell whether or not malpractice has occurred. The unequivocal statements of the reviewer in this case leave little doubt in my mind that the patient suffered at the hands of her doctor’s malpractice. Hopefully she will be able to obtain a good result medically after all the legal dust settles.
John Di Saia MD
Originally posted 2011-05-25 07:30:41.