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Compensation claimed for incorrectly performed pinnaplasty

On 27 November 2006 the Claimant was seen in the plastic surgery clinic, aged seven. It was noted that he had prominent ears and was a suitable to have his ears pinned back. The risks of surgery were explained to his parents and the surgery was performed on 27 March 2007. The Claimant was discharged the same day after an uneventful recovery. The Claimant was reviewed one week later. On examination his ears were bilaterally very swollen and there was evidence of some thinning of the skin anteriorly on the right ear. There was however noted to be good symmetry and his parents were reassured that swelling would decrease over time.

On 19 April 2007 the Claimant was seen by a doctor. His parents were concerned because a small area of cartilage was visible on the back of his right ear. The doctor noted that both scars were well healed with no sign of infection. On 1 May 2007 the Claimant was referred by his GP to a Plastic Surgeon. On 9 May 2007 the Plastic Surgeon spoke to the Claimant’s father. On 11 June 2007 the Claimant was reviewed in the Plastic Surgery clinic. It was acknowledged that due to poor surgical technique the Claimant had been left with small cauliflower ear on the right, the upper left pole deformity of the helical fold possibly due to the head bandages having become displaced postoperatively and the ear prominence itself only having been partly corrected. It was advised that both of the Claimant’s ears would require a complete revision which could not take place before at least one year had elapsed from the original surgery. The Claimant’s parents were warned that there was no guarantee that the cauliflower ear could be improved.

On 3 July 2007 the Claimant’s parents sent a letter raising concerns over surgery their son had undergone. On 30 July 2007 the Claimant saw an ENT surgeon. He advised them he had taken on board the clinical findings as well as the parents’ concerns. He suggested doing nothing for six months, followed by a review in January 2008 with appropriate photographic findings at that stage. On 18 December 2007 the Claimant saw a different ENT surgeon. He noted that the parents would prefer any revision of surgery to be performed by an acknowledged expert on surgery for protruding ears, as the deformities would need careful surgery and good aftercare.

On 20 January 2008 a letter was sent to Mr G, who was recommended as someone who may be able to carry out the revision surgery. Revision pinnaplasty was carried out by Mr G on 23 May 2008. The Claimant’s ears were inspected again on 24 May 2008 and he was allowed home that day. The results of the revision surgery were much more satisfactory but the Claimant is still considering further surgery in the future.

Instructions were received from the Claimant, via his father in November 2019. Limitation was due to expire in January 2020 so an urgent extension had to be requested from the Defendant to allow us to review the medical records and obtain expert evidence and investigate the matter further. A 12 month extension was agreed by the Defendant. An ENT surgeon was instructed to prepare a report on breach of duty and causation, which was fully supportive of the claim. A witness statement was prepared on behalf of the Claimant dealing with the impact of the negligence on his day to day life. A Letter of Claim was served on the Defendant in May 2020. Whilst we awaited the Letter of Response, a schedule of loss was produced.

The Letter of Response was received in July 2020 and made partial admissions in respect of breach of duty and admitted that due to the Trust’s error, the Claimant had to undergo a second avoidable procedure. The Defendant also made a Part 36 offer in the sum of £5,000.00. Following further input from our ENT surgeon in relation to potential further surgery in the future, the Claimant rejected the Defendant’s Part 36 offer and made a further Part 36 offer for £36,000.00. Settlement was finally reached in September 2020 in the sum of £25,000.00.

The claim was conducted by a no win no fee agreement. If you have been affected by a similar incident then please feel free to get in touch with us and we will be happy to assist.


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