Diary of a Medical Disaster

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The Independent Online
Operation one: Anita Hill's ordeal began in 1987 when she was referred to Rodney Ledward on her husband's private health insurance for treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding and stress incontinence. He told her that a hysterectomy was the answer.

Operation two: Three months later she was back in St Saviour's hospital complaining of pain in her side. Mr Ledward discovered an ovarian cystthat had been missed when he carried out the hysterectomy. She had anoperation to remove it but the wound wouldn't heal.

Operations three and four: She was taken back twice to repair a hernia that had developed and correct a prolapsed bladder. The operations by Mr Ledward failed and she was referred to the NHS where the hernia repair was carried out successfully.

Operation five: Mr Ledward told her she would need hormone replacement therapy and advised her to have hormonal implants, which were replaced every three months.

Operation six: In 1993, pains developed in her right side and she was operated on by Mr Ledward to remove her remaining ovary. She felt nauseous and feverish when she came round from the anaesthetic,but was discharged - only to be sent back by her GP 24 hours later.

Operation seven: After she developed a swollen abdomen, Mr Ledward inserted a vaginal drain and said he would have to operate again. The drain apparently ruptured her bowel and another surgeon was called in and performed an emergency colostomy.

Over the next seven months Mrs Hill underwent two further operations on the remainder of her bowel.

The series of operations has left her with a weakened stomach wall and a mis-shapen abdomen. She suffers pain, is prone to vomiting and has been told she needs a further hernia repair and plastic surgery on her stomach to remove scar tissue. Her husband has lost his private health insurance and she took early retirement on grounds of ill health in 1991.

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