Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Elderly patient left disfigured by minor operation

CONCERNS have been raised after NHS doctors failed to inform an elderly patient that removing a cancerous lump would leave him with “extensive facial disfigurement”.

James Whitecross, 76, was referred to the ear, nose and throat clinic at Forth Valley Hospital in January 2014 after discovering a small swelling behind his left ear. Doctors discovered it was cancerous and told Whitecross he would need surgery at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow as most of the specialists were based there.

His daughter Lorna Tannock said the family were told it would be a minor procedure, but the result was a “mutilating surgery” which left her ­father unable to walk, eat properly or see in the initial weeks. Tannock, 40, said: “It looked like half of his face had been removed. I thought I was ­going to faint.”

The retired farmer had lost most of his left ear, and a 20cm flap of his cheek and neck had been completely cut away after the operation in March last year. He also had stitches in one eye and across his lips and a 38cm scar on his leg where a skin graft had been taken for his cheek.

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James Whitecross, pictured with his wife Christina, had surgery for a cancerous lump

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

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