A mum who went for a Brazilian ‘bum-lift’ to give her a new look died from an ultra-rare flesh-eating bug, an inquest heard.
Jane Kiiza went to a top Harley Street surgeon for the buttock enhancement after her son – a Cambridge graduate – left home. But the 47-year-old became the first person in the UK to die from being infected with the deadly pathogen during fat transfer surgery, an inquest heard.
The bacteria, found in soil and ground water which can spread several centimetres in an hour, tore through her body killing her just four days after the surgery, the coroner was told.
The IT consultant from Hampstead in North London is the first British casualty to die from the procedure, which involves fat being taken from one part of the body and then being injected into the buttocks.
Test found no traces of the bacteria in the privately-run theatre or iodine supplies at the Clementine Churchill Hospital.
Senior Coroner Andrew Walker ruled her death was a result of complications from the operation said:
“On June 19 2015 Ms Kiiza had surgery. “On 22 June Ms Kiiza became unwell and returned to the hospital where the surgery took place before being transferred to another hospital where she died.
“I would like to add my deepest sympathy to the members of the family.”
Her inquest at North London Coroners Court yesterday heard she first visited top surgeon Dr Shailesh Vadodaria four weeks before to discuss liposuction and body contouring operation.
Ugandan-born Ms Kiiza, who was otherwise healthy, wanted something done with the fat on her back, legs and stomach and said she knew of the risks.
During surgery Dr Vadodaria removed fat from her abdomen, upper back, outer thighs and flank and injected it into different places on her bottom inserting a total of one and a quarter pints – 700ml.
She was discharged the next day but just two days later texted him at 6.33am in pain writing: “Please call me. I had a very rough night. Where do I come to see you, the Clementine Churchill or Harley Street?”
Giving evidence at her inquest, Dr Vadodaria said he “immediately” called her back as he was “worried about pulmonary embolism.”
As it was “obviously an emergency situation” she was told to come to Clementine Churchill Hospital’s emergency care centre.
But she was immediately transferred to the local NHS hospital Northwick Park hospital where she was given antibiotics but then went into septic shock.
She was rushed into theatre so surgeons cut out the infection but was unwell the next day and another operation was planned. But before she could be prepared she went into cardiac arrest and died.
Analysis of swabs revealed the infection had been caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa found in everything from soil to water and does not normally cause an infection in healthy people, the inquest heard.
The extremely rare flesh-eating infection was only found in Ms Kiiza’s buttocks.
Dr Vadodaria told her inquest: “I have never had any infection following fat extraction or liposuction so I was surprised that it had happened and that it had happened in the buttock area.”
Consultant emergency surgeon Mr Stuart Gould at Northwick Park said: “It is carried in the nose, it’s carried in the bowel, it’s in the environment.
Despite skin on both sides of her body being swabbed with iodine solution before the operation Mr Gould said:
“The risks are never completely removed.”
Asked why it didn’t respond to antibiotics, he said:
“You have to remove the source of the infection. Everything else is supportive. “Although antibiotics can address the infection through the blood stream it doesn’t stop the source. “The spread of this is so rapid that the only solution is to remove the source. It can spread several centimetres in an hour. “It is so devastating that radical treatment is the only option.”
He added the infection was so rare he only found five published cases ever of it occurring after liposuction and only one case after fat transfer in the whole world. He confirmed it was the first British case he had found.
An independent investigation undertaken by the Clementine Churchill found no cause for concern in the surgery or the doctors looking after her.
“It seems to me that in these circumstances, Ms Kiiza died from complications of surgery.”
No member of Ms Kiiza’s family attended the inquest but speaking outside the court, Dr Vadodaria gave his sympathy to the family.
He said: “It is the first time it has happened and I wish it doesn’t happen ever again to a patient or a surgeon.”