Woman killed herself after surgeon removed ovaries without consent

A surgeon in Britain is under investigation after he allegedly removed a patient’s ovaries without her consent. The woman, 58-year-old Lucinda Methuen Campbell, later killed herself because of the ongoing pain caused by the procedure, according to an inquest.

Methuen Campbell had bowel surgery in 2016 at The Spire Hospital in Bristol, England, the BBC reports. Her surgeon, Tony Dixon, helped pioneer the use of mesh implants to fix patients’ bowel problems. 

Methuen Campbell had several consultations with Dixon before the surgery, in which he told her it would be a complex procedure. However, she did not learn until after the operation that her ovaries had been removed.

“He said he thought he’d done me a favor,” Methuen Campbell told the BBC in an interview before her death. “And he said: ‘I thought, you know, a woman of your age wouldn’t really need her ovaries.’ I said ‘Why did you remove them?’ and he just said ‘They were in the way’. My life is absolutely ruined.”

Methuen Campbell was found dead in her home in Swansea in January. Assistant coroner Aled Gruffydd ruled her death a suicide, saying during the inquest that the operation “was unsuccessful and made her pain worse and it affected her mental health.” 

Methuen Campbell’s ex-partner Philip Chatfield said during the hearing that “the pain continued to get worse and nobody seemed able to solve the problem.”

“Mr. Dixon performed the operation in 2016 with the mesh but it was unsuccessful and caused her to be in agony,” Chatfield said, according to the BBC. “She had a follow-up operation which made things even worse.”

Dixon has been suspended from two hospitals in Bristol and is under investigation by the UK’s National Health Service and the General Medical Council.

North Bristol NHS Trust medical director Dr. Chris Burton told the BBC that “the surgeon under review is not currently providing any clinical services to patients at our hospital. It is very important that we investigate this matter fully and it would be inappropriate for us to comment on specific details while our investigations are ongoing.”

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