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Woman left fighting for life after gastric bypass surgery went wrong is awarded £35,000 compensation


A woman who was left fighting for her life after gastric bypass surgery went wrong has been awarded £35,000.

Rachel Benefer, 28, from Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, spent two weeks in intensive care and needed two emergency operations after a surgeon failed to properly close a small incision.

She asked to have the gastric bypass operation after her weight increased to more than 19 stone, despite repeated attempts at dieting.

Miss Benefer's keyhole surgery to bypass part of her stomach was carried out on the NHS at Hull and East Riding Classic Hospital in 2007.

The operation initially appeared to be successful but the failure of the surgeon to properly close an incision led to the patient developing a hernia, which obstructed her small bowel and caused the stomach bypass to break down.

Miss Benefer developed acute peritonitis - an inflammation of the lining of the abdomen wall - and needed two further emergency operations to reduce the hernia and repair the original surgery.

She spent a total of five weeks in hospital, including 11 days on a ventilator, and also had to undergo a tracheotomy.

Miss Benefer sued Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust for compensation and was awarded a £35,000 out-of-court settlement.

Danielle Barney, medical negligence specialist with the Bridge McFarland law firm, said: "Our client later required further surgery to repair the hernia and she has been left with unsightly and distressing scars on her abdomen.

"She has also suffered flashbacks and mild depression.

"This was a very painful experience for her and one that left her unable to work for a time and with an increased risk of serious long-term health problems.

"The case highlights once again that a failure by medical staff to follow accepted procedures during even routine surgery can have devastating effects.

"I am delighted that Rachel will now have some compensation to help her put this very traumatic experience behind her."