A MAN has been mistakenly given a vasectomy by medics who were supposed to be performing a “minor procedure” on him, a hospital has admitted.
The patient, who has not been named, went to the Royal Liverpool Hospital for a minor urological operation but was wrongly made sterile by a blundering surgeon. Medics tried to reverse the error but it is not known whether the reversal was successful.
Health bosses at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust said they have apologised “unreservedly” to the patient. They said an internal disciplinary investigation into the incident has been launched and the surgeon responsible has been suspended from carrying out operations pending the result.
An operation conducted on the wrong body part is classed as a “never event” by health officials. The incidents are regarded by the Government as so serious that they should never happen. Between April and September last year there were 148 such incidents recorded by NHS England.
The medical director of the trust, Dr Peter Williams, “apologised unreservedly” to the patient and confirmed he is being offered “our full support”.
Dr Williams added: “This is a serious incident and we are investigating this fully to understand why it occurred and how we can ensure it does not happen again.
“We take any incident such as this extremely seriously and report them at the highest level in the trust and to our regulators.
“Since this incident, the surgeon has not been carrying out any operations, pending the findings of the investigation.
“In addition, we are carrying out routine checks on compliance with the WHO checklist and our surgical teams are compliant.”
A vasectomy is a minor operation, where the tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles to the penis are cut, blocked or sealed. It is possible for a vasectomy to be reversed but the success rate is around 55 per cent.