Mother dies after weight loss surgery

Doreen Costall, postmistress at Doddington who died on Saturday, December 18, 2010.
Doreen Costall, postmistress at Doddington who died on Saturday, December 18, 2010.

AN EMOTIONAL family has heard that a mother died after complications brought on by weight-loss surgery.

An inquest on Wednesday heard how Doreen Costall (59), of New Street, Doddington, died in Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon a week before Christmas last year.

A popular member of the community, Mrs Costall had managed Doddington Post Office for 28 years and her funeral attracted 350 people.

Her inquest at Huntingdon Coroner’s Court was attended by 11 mourners looking for answers over her death.

It heard that Mrs Costall was morbidly obese and on November 30, 2010 she travelled to the Claremont Hospital in Sheffield for a sleeve gastrectomy.

The surgical weight-loss procedure saw her have her stomach stapled to about 25 per cent of its original size.

She was released from hospital on December 3 but was admitted to Hinchingbrooke Hospital on December 5 where her condition deteriorated until she died on December 18.

The inquest heard that the cause of her death was due to a leak from the staples used in the sleeve gastrectomy and the Coroner Dr Sam Bass recorded a narrative verdict.

He said: “Her death was brought on by multiple organ failure due to a staple line leak from her sleeve gastrectomy for morbid obesity.

“That is a known complication of the surgical procedure. In this procedure there was a mortality rate of one per cent and a leak rate of two per cent.

“It seems the surgeons explained that appropriately and there is nothing to suggest they hadn’t mentioned the risks and that she agreed.”

The surgery in Claremont Hospital was performed by Roger Ackroyd, who spoke at the inquest.

He said: “She had a standard sleeve gastrectomy, it was unremarkable and following the procedure she did well.

“I said I was happy for her to be discharged after she had been with us for three days. The next thing I knew was I got a call five days after the operation saying she was feeling unwell and had been taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Unfortunately, she then deteriorated and then died.”

Mr Ackroyd told the inquest that all tests taken by Mrs Costall after the surgery suggested she had responded well and there were no dangers to her health.

However, family members claimed she had complained of breathing problems, which were dismissed as trapped gas by nurses after calls were made to Claremont Hospital.

Dr Bass added: “An inquest cannot get into that and if you have a concern I suggest you take it up with the hospital.”

The family were complimentary about the service provided at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.