A MAN died days after an operation to remove blood clots from his leg, an inquest has heard.
Thomas Roberts suffered from type two diabetes but was otherwise in good health when he began complaining of pain in the left limb and was taken to Wigan Infirmary.
Doctors treating the 69-year-old found a number of clots in the leg and decided to operate to remove them, Bolton Coroner’s Court heard.
Mr Roberts initially recovered well from the operation but deteriorated two days later and died on July 5.
Consultant pathologist Dr David Barker carried out a post-mortem examination and said it showed congestive cardiac failure and there was a build-up of fluid in the heart and lungs. His coronary artery was about 80 per cent blocked. He gave Mr Roberts’s cause of death as congestive heart failure due to atherosclerosis (hardening of the coronary artery) and contributed to by recent embolectomy surgery.
Consultant vascular surgeon Adam McKeown, who carried out the clot surgery, said that not operating would have been more dangerous, adding: “We were concerned that without the operation the lack of circulation to the leg would have caused the muscles to die, releasing toxins into Mr Roberts’s body. We would have had to amputate his leg or he would have just days to live.”
The court heard that when Mr Roberts was taken to the operating theatre he became very short of breath so the decision was made to perform the surgery under a local anesthetic as a general would be too risky.
Coroner Alan Walsh said Mr Roberts may have had pain in his leg for some time but had not complained about it, or the symptoms had been masked by smaller blood vessels compensating for the blockages.
He said: “I believe Mr McKeown and his team did everything they could for Mr Roberts. Mr Roberts died as a result of a naturally occurring disease exacerbated by naturally occurring clot formation in his leg and the stress of necessary and emergency surgery to remove them.”
William Roberts thanked the hospital staff for the treatment they had given his brother in the days before his death.