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‘I had to beg doctors to remove surgical device’ says Conquest Hospital patient
A grandmother says she had to beg doctors to remove a surgical clip which had moved across her body from her groin to her chest.
Cheryl Osborne, 51, had the metal device fitted to her fallopian tubes when she was sterilised 12 years ago.
Three years ago she started suffering back, stomach and chest pain and an X-ray revealed a foreign body on her right rib. Mrs Osborne says she was left in agony for a further four months until she finally convinced doctors to carry out keyhole surgery to remove the clip. She is now urging other sterilised women to demand answers if they are in pain.
She said: “I was in complete agony. I love walking and playing with my grandchildren but I was having to cancel visits as I felt so unwell.
”I could not lie on my back or right side as I was in so much pain.
”My friends and work colleagues said I looked grey, but despite clearly being in agony the doctors kept refusing to get the clip out of my body.
“I was so shocked and scared when I saw the clip on my rib.
“I believe it was on the move for three years – I can’t bear to think what damage it could have done to my body. I am lucky to be alive."I kept telling the doctors ‘there is a piece of metal in my, get it out’, but they reacted like it wasn’t a big problem.”
Mrs Osborne, from Hastings, was sterilised at Conquest Hospital in St Leonards in 2001.
When she started to suffer from pain three years ago she was diagnosed with angina and started taking daily doses of a strong painkiller.
But when the pain got too much last December, she went to her GP and was told her liver function was unusually high and needed monitoring.
A stomach X-ray taken at the Conquest in January showed the clip nestled under her liver – behind her right rib. She visited A&E twice because of her pain and following CT and MRI scans in April, the clip was removed in May.
Mrs Osborne has suffered no pain since. She said: “Had I known the risks of the clip migrating across my body, I would never have asked to be sterilised. Women need to know the risks and think twice about this operation.”
A spokesman for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said: “On each attendance at A&E Mrs Osborne was treated appropriately. As she was not acutely ill she was, on each occasion, referred back to her GP. She was referred to a surgeon and tests were undertaken (not as an emergency) to fully investigate her symptoms.
“It is the opinion of the surgeon treating her that the clip was not causing the symptoms she was describing.
“There was no clinical need for the procedure to remove the clip, however it was decided to undertake the procedure because of Mrs Osborne’s severe anxiety.
“The last time this lady was seen in clinic she informed the surgeon that she was very happy.
“These clips commonly migrate and are harmless. It is not unusual this long after the original sterilisation procedure as the fallopian tubes to wither and deteriorate once they are divided and the clip has no tissue left to hold onto.”
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