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Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

My mother, 53, collapsed and died just days after returning from weight-loss surgery in Turkey

By Vaseline May31,2024
My mother, 53, collapsed and died just days after returning from weight-loss surgery in Turkey

A mother who traveled to Turkey for weight-loss surgery died just days after returning home, an inquest has heard.

Pamela Canty collapsed a day after returning from the trip in October 2022. The 53-year-old from Cork, Ireland, died in hospital the next day.




An inquest at Cork Crown Court yesterday (Thursday) heard Ms Canty died of septic shock following a “medical accident”. Coroner Philip Comyn said the mother’s tragic death “highlights the dangers of going abroad for elective operations” and added that anyone considering undergoing procedures abroad should understand the “nature of the risks”.

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Pamela traveled to Su Hospital in Izmir in October 2022 to undergo gastric reduction surgery to lose weight. She made the trip to Turkey with her husband Finbarr Canty and their son Joshua on October 17 that year, Cork Beo reports.

Finbarr had undergone successful stomach surgery at another hospital in Turkey a few months earlier. The couple had contacted doctors at Su Hospital online and the court heard how they communicated with doctors at Su Hospital mainly via WhatsApp before arriving in Turkey.

Pamela had a blood test when she arrived at the hospital and brought medical records with her to show the doctors.

Finbarr told the court how doctors had informed Pamela that she had a hernia in her esophagus and that she was no longer suitable for a gastric sleeve. Doctors told the couple through interpreters that they could repair the hernia and perform a gastric bypass procedure instead.

Finbarr Canty pictured at an inquest into the death of his wife Pamela Canty at Cork City Coroners Court (Image: no credit)

Finbarr said he had suggested at the time that he travel home and seek treatment for the hernia in Ireland. Pamela agreed to the change in procedure in Turkey and underwent surgery at Su Hospital on October 17.

After her surgery, Pamela was said to be “drowsy” and was given only oral fluids. Finbarr described how his wife showed early signs of infection, including sweating, nausea and vomiting.

On October 20, Ms Canty was discharged from hospital and on October 21 she flew home, connecting in Munich and landing in Dublin before traveling by bus to Cork. At each airport she was given a wheelchair because she was not feeling well.

The night she arrived home, Pamela “didn’t look great” as she traveled home to Cork. Finbarr said she watched some TV and then went to bed. The next morning, October 22, she was sweating uncontrollably and showing signs of fever. That afternoon she collapsed.

Finbarr told how he resuscitated Pamela while waiting for an ambulance. Pamela was taken to Mercy Hospital in Cork.

Coroner Philip Comyn of Cork City(Image: no credit)

Professor Micheal O’Riordain, colorectal specialist and general surgeon, who treated her when she was taken to hospital, told the court that Pamela had undergone emergency surgery to repair a defect in her bowel where the bypass had broken open. She was placed in intensive care but died on October 23.

Prof O’Riordain said gastric bypass is mainly used for blockages and obstructions in the intestine and is not a recognized bariatric procedure for weight loss.

Dr. Margot Bolster, assistant state pathologist, performed an autopsy and ruled that Pamela’s cause of death was septic shock due to dehiscence during a gastrojejunal bypass with peritonitis (inflammation of the abdomen) and a mediastinitis (inflammation or infection of the chest cavity) – recognized complications of a gastric bypass.

Coroner Philip Comyn returned a verdict of death by medical accident, saying “there were clear signs of infection” while Pamela was in hospital and saying she “should have been taken back to hospital” rather than just two days after an intensive operation to be discharged. .

He added that evidence from Prof O’Riordain highlighted the importance of patients being fully informed when traveling abroad for surgery, including differences in levels of care, “in light of how (the situation) here (in Ireland) ) would have been dealt with.”

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