Weight-loss op led to death of woman

Janet Clark, 54, died after a gastric bypass operation in September 2012.

Janet Clark, 54, died after a gastric bypass operation in September 2012.

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A grandmother died after a gastric bypass operation at a Fylde coast hospital, an inquest was told.

Janet Clark, 54, of Bowness Avenue, Mereside, died in September 2012 after surgery at Spire Hospital in Blackpool.

Money worries: The cuts will be felt at Blackpool Town Hall

Money worries: The cuts will be felt at Blackpool Town Hall

The mother of four suffered complications after the gastric bypass surgery, where the digestive system is re-routed past most of the stomach to digest less, taking less food to make the patient feel full and help to lose weight.

The inquest, at Blackpool Town Hall, was told Mrs Clark had the operation on August 28, 2012, but three days later had to return to hospital feeling nauseous and vomiting suffering from a Richter’s hernia, when the wall of the intestine protrudes through a defect in the abdominal wall.

She underwent a further operation to ease the problems on September 4, but suffered a perforation in her bowel and died two days later at Blackpool Victoria Hospital of a heart attack.

Professor Michael McMahon, a surgeon at Nuffield Hospital in Leeds who reviewed the evidence, said the circumstances around Mrs Clark’s death were unfortunate.

He added: “There were two very uncommon occurrences.

“It is very unusual for this to happen.

“Not everyone reacts like that. People who are very overweight can develop problems after the function of the body becomes altered.”

He added despite intervention from doctors, it was unlikely Mrs Clark would have survived. There was no suggestion given in evidence that the hospital was to blame for Mrs Clark’s death.

Summing up coroner Alan Wilson ruled the death as misadventure, saying the surgery was an intended action, but there was an unintended outcome.

He added: “The deliberate act here was the surgery, but not the consequences which followed. I accept Mrs Clark died of septis due to peritonitis due to perforation of the duodenum (small intestine).

“Whenever that perforation occurred it was not something resolved. It was an appropriate procedure.”

Speaking after the hearing Peter Clark, Mrs Clark’s husband, said: “You can never accept the death of someone – you have to live with it.

“You do not want to accept it. But it is a relief for us today. Janet loved life.

She had 13 grandchildren, with another on the way and four children.

“She loved them all. She had a heart of gold.”