‘I was minutes away from surgery I didn’t need’

Carl Burns of Ryhope, who, after waiting months for an operation on his left hand, was told he didn't need it doing. He was told as he was fully gowned and ready for theatre just minutes before the operation was due to start.

Carl Burns of Ryhope, who, after waiting months for an operation on his left hand, was told he didn't need it doing. He was told as he was fully gowned and ready for theatre just minutes before the operation was due to start.

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A STUDENT was just minutes from going under the knife – before medics told him he didn’t need the op.

Carl Burns was dressed in a surgical gown, tagged and ready to have reconstructive surgery to repair damaged ligaments on his left thumb at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

But moments before he was due to be put under anaesthetic and taken to theatre, he was told he just needed physio treatment and that the operation would be unnecessary.

Carl’s family have now lodged an official complaint about his treatment and health chiefs are investigating.

Carl, 20, from Ryhope, Sunderland, said: “If this person at the hospital hadn’t realised that I didn’t need surgery I would have been taken down for an operation I didn’t need.

Carl first injured his hand on a night out last July and initially went to Grindon Lane walk-in centre for treatment before going for several hospital appointments and was told he would need an operation on his thumb.

The second year Sunderland University student, who is studying for a degree in sports coaching, geared himself up to have the operation before being discharged.

The former Venerable Bede School pupil said: “They told me what was going to happen and gave me a gown to put on.

“They’d even drawn on me where they were going to operate. I was told I was going down to surgery but then a man came in and said it would be pointless to operate. They said I just needed physio.”

Carl, who plays football for Silksworth Rangers in the Wearside League and Farringdon Detached on Sundays, added: “The pain in my thumb hasn’t improved at all since it happened.

“I can move it but it’s a problem when weight is put on it, I can’t grip at all and hurts constantly.”

Carl’s mum Ann Burns, 51, who is also mum to Sarah, 24, said: “We still don’t know whether he does need an operation or not. We’re not usually ones to complain but it doesn’t seem like the doctors know what’s going on.”

Carl is now due to attend a physio appointment on February 26 at Sunderland Royal.

A spokesman for Sunderland Royal Hospital said: “We are investigating the complaint made regarding Carl’s care and will be responding to the family as matter of urgency.”

Twitter: @davidallison88