Botched breast reduction wins Victorian woman $133,000 compensation

A Victorian woman, Bronwyn Hooper, 47 moved to court after her breasts were disfigured during reconstructive surgery. The court has awarded her $133,000 as compensation. Her legal battle lasted five years with Dr. Narine Efe of East Melbourne.

Judge Frank Saccardo said that Dr. Efe was guilty of profession misconduct because it was her duty to care for Hooper and the operation left her with disfigured, asymmetrical breasts.

According to Ms Hooper's solicitor, Alice O'Kane of Nowicki Carbone, Hooper was not offered a choice of operation among the three or four available options of breast reduction surgery. “The wrong procedure was chosen. This was a really large breast reduction and our experts, who were specialist plastic surgeons, said there was a safer option…There was a very poor physical and cosmetic outcome, and Bronwyn went through a lot of pain and suffering,” O’Kane said.

Hooper had “38I” or “36J” breasts that exacerbated a back, neck and shoulder condition so she decided to undergo breast reduction surgery. But post surgery in October 2006, she still had un-healed wounds and a golf ball-sized hole in her left breast. There was also tremendous pain. Thereafter she underwent three further operations and another three reconstructive surgeries performed by a Hobart breast specialist. This took her three months of recovery that made her lose her job.

Hooper said, “Not many people take on a doctor. It was a big decision. The majority of people don't win against doctors…I'm ecstatic about the outcome. It's been very hard for me both physically and mentally.”

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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