A MAN who was operated on by a surgeon despite complaining of pain during a vasectomy later had both his testicles cut off.
Former soldier Daniel Stalker, of Dunbar, decided to undergo the birth control procedure after his wife became pregnant with their fourth child.
But he told a court that during the vasectomy, performed under a local anaesthetic by consultant obstetrician Dr Paul Dewart, that he could feel it but the doctor carried on.
Mr Stalker, 51, said the procedure was only abandoned when he doubled up in pain and vomited.
He said he has been in pain since then and underwent an operation to remove his testicles in 1998 to see if that would help but it did not.
Mr Stalker, of Parsonpool, Dunbar, raised an action alleging medical negligence against Lothian Health Board for £1 million at the Court of Session in Edinburgh following the surgery.
A judge has now found the health authority liable and continued the action for further proceedings to fix the amount of damages.
Lord Uist said: "I accept that it is unlikely that a surgeon would continue operating in the face of a complaint of pain from the patient, but I am driven to the conclusion that that is what happened in this case.
"Why Dr Dewart behaved in the manner in which he did I do not know – it may be simply that he was having 'an off day'," said the judge.
He added: "I conclude that Dr Dewart failed to test that the local anaesthetic which he had administered was effective, that he proceeded to make an incision on the pursuer's scrotum in an area not protected against pain by anaesthetic.
"That the pursuer told him more than once that he felt pain during the incision, that Dr Dewart proceeded to the stage of blunt dissection, involving the insertion of a blunt instrument into his scrotum, despite the pursuer's complaints of pain and that the procedure was thereafter abandoned when he was in pain and vomited."
It was argued for Mr Stalker that he suffered a nerve injury giving rise to pain disorder at the time of the blunt dissection carried out by the surgeon.
The judge said that after considering the evidence on the point he found that the patient had suffered nerve pain giving rise to the disorder after Dr Dewart inserted the surgical instrument into an unanaesthetised part during the attempted vasectomy.
The court heard that Mr Stalker, who served in the Royal Scots for 12 years , had decided to have a vasectomy in 1995.
He was referred to a family planning clinic in Dean Terrace, in Edinburgh, and attended for the surgery on May 7 in 1996.
He was given an injection and Dr Dewart started the operation. He said at first he felt a scratch "just like a wee scratch from a cat".
He said he told the doctor he could feel it but Dr Dewart told him he could not feel it and carried on.
Mr Stalker said he told him a second time and thought he also told him a third time. He saw a long instrument inside his scrotum before he doubled up in pain.
He said he was left crying and screaming and being sick following the unbearable pain.
He went home after the vasectomy but within days his family doctor came to see him because one of his testicles was "coal black", swollen to double its size and excruciatingly painful.
Dr Dewart, of St John's Hospital in Livingston, in West Lothian, estimated that he had performed a thousand vasectomies under local anaesthetic by May 1996.
The honorary senior lecturer at Edinburgh University said he did not remember Mr Stalker as a patient and had no recollection of the events involving him on the day of the scheduled operation.
He said he would never carry out a procedure without ensuring the anaesthetic was effective and if the patient complained of pain when he made an incision he would have offered more of it.
Lord Uist said that after considering the evidence he had come to the conclusion that the substance of Mr Stalker's testimony over what happened to him at the clinic was "both credible and reliable".
hmmm.....talk about surgeons making a right balls up...this one case takes the biscuit.