A British woman has been awarded $36,000 after a botched tummy tuck operation caused her belly button to erupt, the Hull Daily Mail reported.
After losing weight, Patricia Jackson, now 68, had been left with sagging skin around her abdomen. In 2005, Jackson underwent an abdominoplasty, during which surgeons removed the excess skin and fat around her stomach and tightened her abdominal wall muscles. After the procedure, Jackson was left without a belly button – a fairly common outcome after this type of procedure.
Though she appeared to heal normally, Jackson began to experience complications a year later.
“For the first year after the operation, everything was fine and I went to work as normal,” Jackson told the Hull Daily Mail. "However, I was due for a yearly check-up and it was during this time that the surgeon was concerned about the scarring because it looked quite bad. It didn’t really bother me but he admitted me to hospital overnight.”
Doctors discovered an infection and treated Jackson with antibiotics. However, shortly thereafter Jackson began experiencing pain and foul discharge from her abdomen, which doctors attributed to the infection.
In 2011, Jackson was returning to the UK from a vacation in Portugal when she noticed blisters near the spot where her belly button had been located. On the flight, the site of her old belly button burst and began to leak foul-smelling fluid. Upon returning home, Jackson was admitted to the hospital where doctors discovered her old belly button had been left inside her and had broken down, causing an infection.
Jackson underwent a second surgery and now has a new belly button.
"I was angry when I first contacted [lawyers] because I felt that I had been neglected by the hospital and the surgeon, and it wasn't fair,” Jackson said. "I was extremely pleased with the compensation. The result of my case means that awareness has been raised and it can hopefully change patient care in the future."