Botched breast op left patient 'scarred for life'
A YOUNG woman admitted to hospital with a life-threatening infection two weeks after breast-augmentation surgery at a private clinic has been "horribly scarred" for life, a consultant said yesterday.
Kate Murray (25) from Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, spent a month in St Vincent's Hospital and had to have nine procedures and skin grafts after she was admitted on April 4, 2008.
She was admitted suffering from septic shock and advanced cellulitis as a result of post-operative infection.
The breast-augmentation procedure, which cost her €5,800, was carried out at the Cosmedico Clinic in Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow, on March 15, 2008.
Within days, Ms Murray began to suffer severe pain and oozing of fluid from her wounds, and made repeated visits to the clinic before the implants were removed on March 31.
Yesterday, a medical fitness-to-practice committee of the Medical Council recommended that the doctor who carried out Ms Murray's silicon double breast implants -- Italian plastic surgeon Dr Marco Loiacano -- be struck off after finding him guilty of 14 counts of professional misconduct in her treatment and care.
The committee also recommended all clinics that performed plastic surgery should attain standards of pre- and post-operative care as defined by the Medical Council.
It is the second time in a year Dr Loiacano has been found guilty of professional misconduct, following a similar case involving a breast-implant procedure carried out on another woman in 2006. Ms Murray shed tears after yesterday's finding. Her mother Caroline said the decision would help her daughter to move on with her life.
Dr Loiacano, who left Cosmedico in September 2009, was not at yesterday's hearing despite extensive efforts by the Medical Council to find him in Italy. He is believed to be practising in Rome.
St Vincent's Hospital consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon Peter Meagher, who met Ms Murray at the request of the Medical Council, said she had been "horribly physically scarred for life and mentally scarred" and it was absolutely appalling what had happened to her.
"I have no doubt that if she did not go to St Vincent's there was a very real possibility she could have ended up in intensive care on a ventilator and anything after that would have been possible," he said.
Consultant surgeon Denis Evoy, who treated Ms Murray at St Vincent's, said she came to the hospital with extensive wound breakdown and cellulitis. She also had severe sepsis and was just a step away from necrosis fasciitis -- the so-called flesh-eating infection.
Cosmedico managing director Ailish Kelly said every time Ms Murray phoned the clinic there was always somebody available to see her but to "a certain extent" she was "let down" by her clinician, Dr Loiacano.
Ms Murray told how she decided to lodge a complaint to the Medical Council about her ordeal after reading about a similar case in the newspapers.
"I was quite angry at the time and felt let down. I realised there was something very wrong in how I was treated by Dr Marco," she said.