Surgeon struck off after three major bungles

A senior surgeon working in the UK has been struck off after being involved in three surgical “never events” in a two-year period.

“A never event is something that should never, ever happen, Dr Michael Zeigerman, an expert witness for the General Medical Council, told a UK tribunal.

According to a report in the BMJ, the surgeon, Dr Lawal Haruna, 59, botched an emergency laparoscopic appendicectomy after failing to identify the appendix and removing a fat pad instead.

Around 10 months later he removed a patient’s ovary and fallopian tube during what should have been an open appendicectomy. The woman was of childbearing age.

Six months later, Dr Haruna failed to review a woman with a cyst on her perineum to locate the lesion before she was anaesthetised.

“Although he realised that he did not know the location of the cyst, he recklessly went ahead with the surgery, the tribunal found, and removed the skin tag instead,” the BMJ report stated.

During the hearing, Dr Haruna, who represented himself, admitted to most of the charges against him — denying only two: that he had failed to call for help when he ran into trouble operating on the first patient and that he had failed to adequately review the third case preoperatively.

The tribunal chair noted that even “never events” were not automatically grounds for erasure given sufficient insight and remediation. But Dr Haruna had not shown enough of either, she added.