Bristol

Bristol bowel surgery patients recalled for case review

Diagram of mesh surgery
Image caption The mesh is made of a polypropylene, a type of plastic

Almost 200 bowel surgery patients are being recalled over concerns about the clinical treatment they received.

It follows an investigation by the BBC which revealed the surgeon who pioneered the use of mesh to treat rectal prolapse has been suspended.

The consultant carried out surgery at Southmead Hospital and at the private Spire Hospital in Bristol.

Southmead Hospital said it was writing to 198 patients to invite them for a clinical review.

Tony Dixon said he supports any action that will benefit patients and welcomes the steps taken to reassure the public.

He used a technique known as mesh rectopexy to fix bowel problems, often caused by childbirth.

But several women treated by Mr Dixon claim they were left in severe pain and were not warned of potential complications following the surgery.

North Bristol NHS Trust is undertaking a "thorough review process" of all pelvic floor surgery patients treated at Southmead Hospital, including those operated on by other surgeons.

Spire Bristol Hospital also said it had "taken the precautionary decision to invite a select cohort of patients" back to its hospital for a review.

'Detailed investigation'

The NHS has set up a helpline to deal with patients who have come forward and is now writing to other people who have had similar procedures but have not raised any concerns.

A select number of patients from both hospitals are being invited to a clinical review with an independent expert surgeon, who will assess if they are satisfied by the results of the surgery.

Dr Chris Burton, medical director at North Bristol NHS Trust said: "We are continuing a detailed investigation into concerns about certain pelvic floor procedures performed to treat rectal prolapse and as part of this process we are writing to invite patients who have had similar surgery for an independent clinical review of their treatment."

Dr Jean-Jacques de Gorter, from Spire, said: "We understand that receiving this letter may cause some anxiety for our patients but there is no reason to be unduly concerned."

The Trust referred Mr Dixon to the General Medical Council earlier this year.

Mr Dixon has previously told the BBC any surgery could have complications and that the majority of his operations were successful, and he had done them in good faith.

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