Woman settles action over botched breast operation

Wednesday 16 January 2013 23.53
Kate Murray had nine procedures after the botched breast operation
Kate Murray had nine procedures after the botched breast operation

A Dublin woman who sued a plastic surgeon for damages over a botched breast operation has settled her High Court action.

Kate Murray, 28, sued Italian consultant Marco Loiacano who was struck off by the Medical Council's Fitness to Practise Committee for misconduct in 2011 over the operation he carried out on her in March 2008.

She had to be admitted to hospital two weeks after the operation with a life-threatening infection and spent a month undergoing nine procedures and skin grafts.

Ms Murray, from Dún Laoghaire, had also sued Cosmedico Clinic (Dublin) Ltd, trading as Cosmedico Surgery Clinic, Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow, where the €5,800 operation was carried out.

She also sued Dr Loiacano's fellow surgeon Keith Robertson, who saw her after the operation.

Counsel for Ms Murray told the High Court the matter had been settled on Tuesday evening and an order for costs could be made against the clinic.

Counsel for the clinic asked for a strike out of indemnity proceedings as against Dr Robertson and Cosmedico and that similar indemnity proceedings between the clinic and Dr Loiacano be adjourned generally with liberty to re-enter.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine made the orders and no details of the settlement were revealed.

The Medical Council inquiry was told that within days of the operation on 15 March 2008, 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 31 March.

Ms Murray was treated at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin for 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 - the inquiry was told by consultant surgeon Denis Evoy, who treated her in hospital.

Peter Meagher, St Vincent's Hospital consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon, told the inquiry that Dr Loiacano's treatment of Ms Murray was reckless in the extreme and that she would be horribly physically scarred for life.

"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.

Cosmedico managing director Ailish Kelly told the Fitness to Practice Committee that 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 the inquiry 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.

Dr Loiacano, who left Cosmedico in September 2009, was not in court, nor did he attend the Medical Council hearing.

He is believed to be practising in Rome.

Dr Loiacano was also found guilty of professional misconduct in relation to a similar case involving a breast-implant procedure carried out on another woman in 2006.