Surgeon struck off after 'accidental' removal of testicle

Posted by Samantha Ward on

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I was amazed to read a report about a surgeon, Mr Marwan Farouk, having accidentally removed a patient's testicle during surgery and then try to cover up his actions.  Following a tribunal by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), Mr Farouk has been struck off.

Mr Farouk's patient was undergoing surgery at the BMI Chiltern Hospital to repair bilateral herniae and to remove an epididymal cyst (a growth on the series of ducts located above and behind the testicle).  It seems, instead of removing the cyst, that Mr Farouk actually removed the entire testicle. 

It was reported at the tribunal, when asked by the theatre nurse whether the specimen should be sent to the laboratory for examination as per usual protocol, that Mr Farouk told her to 'chuck it' (or words to that effect).  In fact it was Mr Farouk who disposed of the testicle in a medical waste bin.   The nurse later retrieved the sample and sought advice from the theatre manager.  Mr Farouk was later reported to the MPTS.

In an apparent attempt to justify the loss of tissue mass following the surgery Mr Farouk told his patient that he had a small testicle, but that it shouldn't give him any problems.  He later told the tribunal that he had not realised that he had removed the entire testicle; however, this suggestion was dismissed by the MPTS.  The MPTS concluded that Mr Farouk had been misleading and dishonest.

Although not reported, this incident is unlikely to have caused Mr Farouk's patient to suffer a significant physical injury however, I would suggest that it is likely to have had a substantial psychological impact on a number of levels.  This case illustrates the importance of the legal Duty of Candour healthcare providers now have to inform and apologise to patients if there have been mistakes in their care that have, or could have, led to significant harm.

Further information, including the report from the MPTS can be accessed here

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About the Author

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Sam is a Registered Nurse with 17 years' experience working in the NHS. She uses her medical and nursing knowledge and experience to liaise with clients.

Samantha Ward
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