In Brief

Lucinda Methuen-Campbell: woman killed herself after ovaries removed without consent

Welsh mother-of-one was left in agony following operation to treat bowel disorder

A woman committed suicide following an operation to mend a bowel disorder that resulted in the removal of her ovaries without her consent, an inquest has heard.

British surgeon Dr Anthony Dixon, who “built up an international reputation for using mesh to fix bowel problems”, performed the surgery on Lucinda Methuen-Campbell at the Spire private hospital, in Bristol, The Daily Telegraph reports. During the op, in September 2016, he inserted a vaginal mesh implant in the 58-year-old mother-of-one, “but it left her in agony”, says the newspaper.

Dixon also removed her ovaries, despite having never discussed that possibility with Methuen-Campbell, from Swansea. In a BBC interview before she died, Methuen-Campbell said that Dixon later told her he had taken them out because they were “in the way”.

She was later found hanged “after telling her former partner that there didn’t ‘seem to be a way out of the pain’”, reports The Times.

Assistant coroner Aled Gruffydd heard that she had been in pain for years but that the surgery made it worse.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Gruffydd said: “The operation on Mrs Methuen-Campbell was unsuccessful and made her pain worse and it affected her mental health.

“I’m satisfied without doubt that she intended to take her own life. The pain she was in led to her taking her own life. She left a note for her son, apologising.”

Following the inquest, Methuen-Campbell’s son, Angus, said: “She was in a great deal of pain after the operations and she was very upset that her ovaries had been removed.”

Dixon is being investigated by the NHS and the General Medical Council, “which has imposed conditions on his medical licence, including notifying it of all employment and disciplinary procedures and a ban on performing a separate type of bowel surgery”, says The Times.

North Bristol NHS Trust medical director Dr Chris Burton said: “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.”

Dixon has previously said his operations were carried out in good faith and that the majority were successful.

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