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Slimming Surgery Leads to Death in UK

by Gopalan on August 12, 2007 at 12:18 PM
Slimming Surgery Leads to Death in UK

The craze for slimming in the West is indeed taking monstrous proportions.

Emma Favell of England, 32, found to her horror that the stomach stapling surgery she had undergone was virtually starving her to death.


But little help came and she finally died, six months after the operation at a Belgian clinic, which had cost her 7,000.

Her mother Catherine McGee said, "Emma was very big and she'd tried all sorts of diets, but the weight just would not come off and she was very down about her size, really depressed.

"She was desperate to be thin and planning to get married, which is why she was willing to go this far to get down to her ideal weight."

Mrs Favell, a nurse from Burton upon Trent, spent months researching the treatment before picking out a Sint Blasius clinic in Belgium, where the procedure is carried out for half the 14,000 price tag in the UK.

During stomach stapling, surgeons usually close off some of the patient's small intestine, leaving a smaller area where food and gastric juices can mix.

This gives them the sensation of being full after eating a smaller meal than normal.

The Belgian gamble seemed to have paid in Emma's case, her weight dropping from 23 stones to 15 stones.

It plummeted further to around eight-and-a-half stones at the time of her marriage in March last and she was able to slip into a size 8 wedding dress. But her exhilaration did not last long.

As she honeymooned in Mexico, she had become so weak she had to be carried upstairs each night.

She was admitted to Queen's Hospital in Burton on April 12, where staff monitored her and took blood tests. But no attempt was made to reverse the stomach stapling and Mrs Favell died on April 30.

Actually six months after the June 2005 operation, Emma had begun to fell unwell and went for blood tests at her GP's surgery. But doctors failed to identify the cause of her illness and she became progressively weaker.

An inquest at South Staffordshire Coroner's Court a couple of days ago heard that the surgeon who operated upon her in Belgium left only a 30cm (11.8in) length of small intestine free instead of the recommended 75cm (29in).

Pathologist Manuel Sotres said this was "not enough to ingest enough food to keep someone alive".

Coroner Andrew Haigh recorded a verdict of accidental death, but said the operation was partly to blame.

He said Mrs Favell's death was due to multi-organ failure, protein malnutrition and malabsorption due to weight-loss surgery.

After the hearing, her mother said: "We could see her fading away and absolutely nobody was doing anything for her. It was like they'd washed their hands of her because she'd opted to have this surgery carried out overseas.

Source: Medindia
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