Hospital Mistakenly Gave Woman a Mastectomy, Then Postponed Her Reconstruction for 9 Months

Healthcare professionals have extended an apology to one of their patients who mistakenly received an unnecessary medical procedure and then was forced to wait several months for the issue to be rectified.

Brenda Young, a 65-year-old hospice nurse in the UK, first visited a National Health Service Hospital in February of 2020 for a routine mammogram, but her results didn’t come back as clear as she’d hoped. Healthcare professionals told her she had invasive cancer in her right breast which needed to be removed.

Young opted to have her right breast removed, but a tissue sample taken from the removed breast revealed that she did not, in fact, have invasive breast cancer and had not needed a mastectomy after all.

Photo: Adobe Stock/Valerii

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Surgeons planned to reconstruct Brenda’s breast, but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdowns, they were forced to wait on the procedure for almost nine months. It wasn’t until November that Brenda was finally able to have her surgery.

The NHS has since apologized to Brenda for their mistake, and an investigation of the incident concluded that Brenda’s original provider failed to read her mammogram correctly and should have asked for a second opinion but never did.

“The trust has cooperated fully into the investigation, and the findings of the report were shared with Ms. Young,” a Barnsley General Hospital spokesperson told Newsweek. “The hospital is always available to discuss any ongoing concerns she may have.”

Photo: Adobe Stock/Georgiy

The NHS has labeled the misdiagnosis a “serious incident” and plans to take action to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Brenda has already sought legal counsel from Irwin Mitchell and has asked them to conduct their own investigation into what happened with her case. She says she’s experienced “anguish and horror” following the mistaken surgery and during her long wait for follow-up treatment, and she expects the healthcare system to make up for that terrible experience.

“I know nothing can make up for what has happened, but, by speaking out, I just hope that I can try and help prevent what happened to me happening to others,” says Brenda.

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