Akram Mahdi had come to Bengaluru for an ankle surgery | ( Photo | Shriram BN )
Akram Mahdi had come to Bengaluru for an ankle surgery | ( Photo | Shriram BN )

Yemeni national alleges doctors botched up surgery in Bengaluru

Four years ago, Hamid was involved in an accident, while working as a supervisor on a construction site in Saudi Arabia when a metal object, weighing a tonne, fell on his right foot, fracturing it.

BENGALURU: Akram Hamid (28), a Yemeni national living in Saudi Arabia, complained to the Karnataka Medical Council (KMC), alleging a case of medical negligence.

Hamid underwent an ankle surgery on September 14, 2018, at Apollo Hospitals, Jayanagar.

Four years ago, Hamid was involved in an accident, while working as a supervisor on a construction site in Saudi Arabia. A metal object, weighing a tonne, fell on his right foot, fracturing it.

He claims that a surgery was done to fix his bones, along with skin grafting. However, the pain in the ankle joint persisted, so he decided to come to India for treatment.

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“The surgery in Bengaluru fixed my ankle joint in the wrong position, causing the foot to be tilted to the right and curved in such a way that the toes touch the ground but not the heel. A bone was taken from the pelvis to secure the big toe but a nerve was damaged too, causing me to lose sensation in the pelvic and thigh area. The pain increased after surgery,” Hamid said.

His complaint to KMC names Dr Pradeep Kocheeppan, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Apollo Hospitals.

His brother Amr Mahdi said, “After the surgery, we went back to Saudi Arabia, but the pain persisted. The doctor said the foot position would be back to normal after exercise and the pain would reduce as well. However, there was no change in six months. When he underwent the surgery, the doctor said they would have to keep the foot at an angle of 45 degrees to prevent any pressure on the spine. However, when we consulted other doctors in Bengaluru, they said that making it 90 degrees would not put any pressure on the spine.”

The two returned to India in June this year, and said the hospital was not willing to admit a case of medical negligence. They demanded compensation and asked for Hamid’s foot to be corrected, free of charge.

“We met the management and doctor and they told us that this was, in fact, a three-stage surgery, and the third phase would involve removal of the nails and refixing them. This basically means that the first surgery was a mistake and they are unwilling to admit it,” Amr alleged.

“Before the surgery, I could use a crutch. However, after the surgery, I require two and cannot walk for long. I asked them to cover the surgery’s expenses, which I will get done at another hospital, but they did not agree. Several doctors told me I cannot regain sensation in my thigh and groin area. I have spent nearly $20,000 on the surgery, travel and accommodation,” Hamid complained.

He has since consulted multiple hospitals in Bengaluru. A copy of an out-patient record from Manipal Hospitals reads that the ankle fusion surgery will have to be redone.An excerpt from his complaint to KMC on September 5 reads, “I demand compensation for the physical, social and psychological damage caused by the medical mistake. I demand compensation for the price of previous and current operation, housing, living and travel fees, serious loss of sensation in the pelvis and thigh area and psychiatric condition due to wrong surgery.”

A member of the KMC, who did not wish to be named, confirmed that they received such a complaint on September 5.

“We will call the complainant for a discussion and based  on the complaint, investigate it. Both parties will be called for hearings, and we will take appropriate action,” the member said.

Doctor denies negligence:

In his defence, Dr Pradeep told TNIE, “The case was complex as most of the bones were fractured. The talus bone had no blood supply. The medial cuneiform bone was lost in the accident and all the metatarsals were fractured and bent forward. We had to do a three-step surgery, which we told the patient in the beginning. We had to create a bone for which we did bone grafting from his pelvis. We selected the least invasive method and also grafted the bone to prepare him for future deformity correction.”

“We did limited fusion of the ankle joint with screws to treat the pain. The front to back part of his foot was deformed. A single surgery would not be enough. We told them a repeat procedure would have to be done after three months, but he came back only after seven months. The third surgery would be a triple fusion to straighten the metatarsals, which would make his foot normal again,” the doctor explained.

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