Woman infertile after surgeon removed wrong fallopian tube

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Media captionChelsie Thomas said the botched surgery has destroyed her life

A woman who suffered an ectopic pregnancy is unable to have children after a surgeon removed her healthy fallopian tube by mistake.

Chelsie Thomas was admitted to Walsall Manor Hospital with the pregnancy in her right tube in March last year.

During an operation, the surgeon removed the left fallopian tube instead, which Chelsie, 27, said had “destroyed everything”.

The hospital apologised and admitted an error was “regrettably made”.

Ms Thomas’ ectopic pregnancy was discovered after she experienced bleeding and went to the hospital – where she had been working as a healthcare assistant for nine years – on 7 March last year.

She had surgery the same day, where her healthy fallopian tube was removed.

Chelsie Thomas with her son RileyImage copyright
Chelsie Thomas

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Ms Thomas had to tell her son Riley that he cannot have a brother or sister

Ms Thomas, who lives in Walsall, told the surgeon the scan showed the pregnancy in her right tube but said she was told: “I’m a doctor, you should trust me.”

But a week later, when she was still in excruciating pain, she returned to hospital where the blunder was discovered.

She had to have her remaining fallopian tube removed and is now unable to have children without IVF treatment.

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Ectopic pregnancy

  • An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes
  • If an egg gets stuck in them, it will not develop into a baby and the mother’s health may be at risk if the pregnancy continues
  • In the UK, about one in every 90 pregnancies – about 11,000 a year – is ectopic

Source: NHS

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Ms Thomas, who already has a six-year-old son Riley, said her relationship with her partner broke down as a result of the surgery and she has also lost her job and is on anti-depressants.

She said the surgeon who operated on her “shouldn’t be allowed to touch another woman again”.

“I have had to explain [to my son] that he cannot have a brother or sister,” she added.

Jenna Harris, Ms Thomas’ solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said the original procedure was “carried out without appropriate due diligence and attention”.

Dr Matthew Lewis, the medical director at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, admitted surgeons made a mistake and said “our care fell below the standard that we would expect”.

He said the trust worked with “patients and their families, our own clinicians and staff to learn lessons and put systems in place to try and avoid such incidents”.

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