Toulouse: by removing a good part of his lung, did the doctors at the CHU commit a huge blunder?

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In order to fight against a possible cancer, Claude, 77, had undergone a removal of part of the lung at the Toulouse University Hospital. It turned out that she had no tumor. He died a few months after the operation.

Dominique’s house looks like a mausoleum. Countless photos of Claude, the love of his life who passed away on February 25 at the age of 77, and other loved ones line the walls. Collages and paintings by his former companion color and add a little touch of fantasy to this beautiful house hidden in a locality in the south of Haute-Garonne.

Dominique, 72, is struggling to recover from the disappearance of the man who shared her life for the past thirty years, especially since she is convinced that a medical error precipitated Claude’s death.
“He had the lower lobe of his left lung removed because there were allegedly cancerous cells. After this lobectomy, Claude’s condition continued to deteriorate. This is no coincidence. For me, this ablation, which should never have taken place, contributed to his premature death, ”she insists.

This former HR manager at Social Security did not want to take the case to court: “I was too shaken by the death of Claude, I did not feel like leading an endless fight in court. And then I don’t want to castigate the behavior of this or that doctor, it’s the whole of a health system that I want to denounce. »

“Medicine reserves this type of surprise.
I had never seen this”

The operation took place on October 27, 2021 at Larrey Hospital (Toulouse University Hospital). Claude experiences all the trouble in the world to get over it. In particular, he must fight against postoperative pneumonia. The treatment with antibiotics works but the septuagenarian sees his general state of health weaken.

On December 14, he received a letter from his attending physician who disconcerted him. The former restaurateur and gallery owner learns that the piece of organ that was removed from him, and which has greatly reduced his lung capacity, is “healthy”, he shows no trace of a tumor. He asks the surgeon who operated on him for an explanation. Here is the response of the practitioner sent by email some time later: “Medicine reserves this type of surprises, personally, I had never seen that. The biopsy indeed found some tumor cells, which the appearance of the scanner confirmed, so there is little doubt about the nature of the lesion. »

The specialist evokes two hypotheses to explain the absence of tumors in the removed lobe. According to him, the most probable: “The white blood cells destroyed the cancer cells, but the risk of it coming back makes me say that surgery was necessary, especially since this lesion caused infections that were difficult to control. “But in all transparency, the surgeon evokes another hypothesis which he considers” much less probable “: “There would have been an error on the biopsy since there were only a few cancer cells and their analysis is sometimes difficult . »

Impossible to know if the Toulouse University Hospital has investigated further and managed to decide between the two interpretations by the surgeon. The management of the hospital center indicates in a press release: “The medical and surgical teams who took care of this patient at the Toulouse University Hospital understand the pain of the family and loved ones following the loss of a loved one. The doctors met the family on several occasions to explain the treatment proposed and carried out. Once again, they assure the family of the quality of care and compliance with good practices in line with the patient’s state of health. Toulouse University Hospital is bound by medical secrecy and cannot divulge more information. However, the medical and surgical teams and the doctor mediator of the Toulouse University Hospital are listening to the family and available for any additional information. »

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