Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill has found a gynaecologist failed to inform a young woman properly when both her fallopian tubes were removed.

The woman had presented with symptoms of endometriosis and became unwell after a surgery for it.

For the subsequent surgery the woman understood her left fallopian tube might need to be removed.

The consent form the woman signed did not specify both fallopian tubes might need to be removed, and the possibility of the right fallopian tube needing removal was not discussed with her.

The left fallopian tube was grossly distorted because of infection, and was removed and the right fallopian tube was also swollen and had free-draining pus.

The gynaecologist was concerned that, if left, the right fallopian tube would be a nidus for ongoing infection and sepsis, and the woman might end up in intensive care.

Mr Hill found the surgeon to be in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights, saying it was plainly unacceptable the gynaecologist removed the right fallopian tube without the woman’s consent.

The right to decide was the woman’s, and she was deprived of it.

Mr Hill also made adverse comment that in removing both of the woman’s fallopian tubes, the gynaecologist did not take the least invasive treatment option available, and also the gynaecologist did not take microbiological samples during the second surgery.

Mr Hill recommended the gynaecologist undertake further training on informed consent, and provide a written apology to the woman.

Source: Newstalk ZB

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