Woman's belly button 'explodes' on flight after dodgy tummy tuck

May 03, 2014, 07:53 IST | Agencies

Doctors didn’t realise that 68-yr-old’s belly button had been left inside her during operation, and was breaking down

Yorkshire: Patricia Jackson, 68, from Yorkshire, was flying home from a week’s holiday in Portugal when her belly button ‘erupted’.

This caused foul-smelling contents to leak from her abdomen, causing other passengers to complain.

Jackson, the manager of a residential care home, decided to have a tummy tuck when she was 60 and underwent surgery at a private hospital in 2005.

Surgeons removed extra skin and fat but did not create a new belly button for Jackson. She was told there was not enough material left over. However, they had left parts of the old one inside her.

Jackson said: “I was due for a yearly check-up and it was during this time that the surgeon was concerned about the scarring. It didn’t really bother me but he admitted me to hospital overnight.”

An ultrasound scan revealed an infection under the scar. The wound was dressed and drained, after which Jackson was discharged from hospital.

But she started to experience pain and an unexplained foul-smelling discharge. She became worried and was referred to several specialists.

Doctors blamed the discharge on an infected stitch.

In 2011, Jackson went for a holiday to Portugal. But before she caught the return flight, she noticed that there were blisters around where her old belly button should have been.

Once she boarded the plane, her belly button unexpectedly burst.

Luckily, the air stewardess was able to help her dress the wound as best she could.

After she landed, she declined the offer of returning to the first hospital, instead choosing Castle Hill NHS Hospital in Hull, where she underwent a reconstructive surgery for a new belly button.

She has now been awarded £22,500 in compensation from the surgeon who conducted the operation after the case was settled out of court.

Jeanette Aspinall, head of medical negligence at Fletchers Solicitors, said, “This case highlights how easy it is for an everyday cosmetic surgery procedure, like a tummy tuck, to go wrong... Jackson had the operation to gain confidence, and instead was subjected to years of pain and embarrassment.”

Compensation awarded to Jackson

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