NHS board apology after man scarred for life

editorial image

A health board has been ordered to apologise to a patient who was left with a “disfigured” penis following an operation.

NHS Tayside were told to say sorry to a patient left with scarring after an operation to remove a skin tag from his privates left him permanently marked.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman found surgeons at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital had not warned the man, identified only as Mr C, that the operation could leave him with long-lasting issues.

In a written decision the Ombudsman ordered the health board to apologise to the man, bring the failings to the attention of the staff involved and review their processes to ensure doctors obtain adequate consent for procedures.

The written notice states: “Mr C underwent an operation at Ninewells Hospital to remove a skin tag on his penis.

“He was concerned about the outcome of the operation and the appearance of the resulting scar, and he said that he was left with some disfigurement.

“Mr C complained that the consultant urological surgeon told him before the operation that the appearance of his penis would improve with surgery and that he was not warned that there was any risk of disfigurement.

“Mr C also had concerns about the standard of the operation itself, and follow-up care.

“We took independent advice from an adviser who specialises in urological surgery.

“We found failings in the consent process.

“We found that there was no evidence that Mr C had been warned of the risk of scarring and that the outcome of the surgery may not meet his expectations until the day of the operation.

“This meant that he had not been given enough time and appropriate information to make an informed decision, particularly in light of his additional needs.

“We found no evidence to suggest that the standard of the operation was not reasonable and while there were failings in relation to a follow-up appointment, this was addressed by the board.”