Medical watchdog restricts botched op gallbladder surgeon

Surgeon Camilo Valero, 43,  has not been suspended

Surgeon Camilo Valero, 43, has not been suspended despite the botched operations - Credit: Archant

The medical watchdog has barred a gallbladder surgeon from operating unsupervised following a string of life-changing errors last year.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is investigating Norfolk and Norwich hospital gastro-intestinal surgeon Camilo Valero, after he botched three gallbladder operations in five days in January 2020 leaving at least two patients with life-changing injuries.

On Friday an independent Interim Orders Tribunal ruled that until the GMC investigation concludes, he should not carry out biliary (gallbladder) surgery except under supervision.

They instructed him to keep a log of all such procedures to be signed by his supervisor, which he must present to the next meeting of the tribunal.

Lucy Wilson, 33, speaking to the EDP about her botched gallbladder surgery

Lucy Wilson, 33, speaking to the EDP about her botched gallbladder surgery - Credit: Archant

The N&N had imposed that condition on the surgeon but the watchdog has made the instruction binding.

Paul Tooth and Lucy Wilson were left horrifically injured, suicidally depressed, and barely able to move after Mr Valero removed their common bile ducts in addition to their gallbladders.

Mrs Wilson, 33, from Norwich, said: “If they had enforced this when the first complaints arrived and the investigation started I’d feel a lot happier.”

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Mr Tooth, 64, has lost five stone since the operation and has been left with tubes sticking out of his liver and abdomen following a further 13-hour corrective surgery.

He said: "It is reassuring to see that a higher authority are taking a close look at why three patients were mutilated with life changing consequences, by the same surgeon carrying out the same operation in only five days.

Paul Tooth has to recycle bile from his liver, which now collects in a bag, back into his body through a tube up his nose

Paul Tooth has to recycle bile from his liver, which now collects in a bag, back into his body through a tube up his nose - Credit: Archant

"This is in stark contrast to the conclusion the NNUH management came to, when they determined that the three victims were mutilated because of a failure of 'procedures and processes'."

He thanked readers for their prayers and kind messages and appealed to the third gallbladder patient harmed in January 20020 to get in touch.

A spokesperson for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital said: “We have been assisting the GMC with their enquiries and these interim conditions are in line with the supervision arrangements already in place following our own internal investigation last year and recommendations from a Royal College of Surgeons review.”

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