"Has anyone learned lessons from what happened to me?"

About: City Hospital campus / General surgery Queen's Medical Centre / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

At the Day surgery unit at City Hospital, Nottingham I had keyhole surgery to remove my gall bladder, because of gall stones. I came home later the same day. I was in considerable pain, but I expected that.

Over the following two days the pain got worse, and I developed a fever and felt sick and couldn't eat. I felt that this wasn't right so I called out my GP who agreed something was wrong and referred me to the Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham.

There they did blood tests and a CT scan, which showed there was free fluid in the abdominal cavity. I was scheduled for an operation to investigate this.

By the time I went for this emergency surgery I was feeling very ill, and the strain was affecting my heart, which was skipping beats. I came out of surgery with a large scar and 2 drains inserted. The surgeon had discovered that bile and blood had been leaking inside me because some vessels had not been sealed off.

After a night in Critical Care Unit I was taken to a normal post-surgical ward, where I remained for another 7 days. It is only now, 2 months after the operation, I am starting to feel normal again and able to relate what happened, although I get very tired. The operation site still gives me pain.

What concerns me particularly is that no-one has expressed regret for what happened to me, and I wonder if they have learned any lessons from it. Is it a feature of keyhole surgery that such things are likely to happen? The only explanation I was given was that I had an extra bile duct, but surely it must have been cut to make it leak, so it must have been accessible? I was passed between three different surgical teams during the sequence of events, and no-one seemed to take responsibility.

I am also worried about possible permanent damage to my health from the experience, especially the effect on my heart.

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Response from Jessica Haggett, Patient Experience Officer, Communications, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust

picture of Jessica Haggett

We were concerned to hear of your experience and wish to investigate your concerns further so we can provide the answers you rightly deserve.

In order to do this we are seeking more information from you. Might we ask that you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service please on 0800 183 0204 or at pals@nuh.nhs.uk at your earliest convenience, who will be able to help.

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