Surgeon Dr Marwan Farouk was working at the private BMI Chiltern Hospital in Buckinghamshire when he accidentally removed a patient’s testicle, and tried to cover up his mistake.
In April 2014 Dr Farouk was supposed to be removing a cyst, but removed the entire testicle. He then failed to tell the patient about the mistake.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) ruled that Dr Farouk had been dishonest or misleading.
The tribunal heard from a theatre nurse who said she had been told to “chuck it”, or words to that effect, by Dr Farouk. The doctor disposed of the testicle himself in a medical sharps bin.
Dr Farouk went on to mislead the patient by telling him that “he had a small right testicle, but it won’t give you any problems”, or words to that effect, rather than telling him that he had removed it accidentally during surgery.
The tribunal said that it did not believe Dr Farouk’s evidence that he had not recognised the specimen as a testicle.
“As an experienced surgeon, even on a cursory examination, you must have recognised the specimen for what it was”, said the ruling.
Although the tribunal found that it could not be proven that Dr Farouk operated outside his area of expertise, or failed to tell the patient’s GP that the entire testicle had been removed, they concluded that his fitness to practice was impaired and he was struck off.
A BMI spokesman told the BBC: “Dr Farouk’s practising privileges at the Chiltern Hospital were removed following the incident and our own investigation. We will apply any lessons learned from the hearing.”
In February this year a Press Association investigation found that more than 1,100 patients have suffered from serious errors in English hospitals in the past four years.
Known as ‘never events‘, these are incidents that should never happen and are entirely negligent.
At the time an NHS England spokeswoman said: “One never event is too many and we mustn’t underestimate the effect on the patients concerned. However, there are 4.6 million hospital admissions that lead to surgical care each year and, despite stringent measures put in place, on rare occasions these incidents do occur.”
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