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Beauty therapist was at risk of blood clot due to surgery length, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 15:46 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:52 31 October 2019

Louise Harvey from Norwich, who died 17 days after a breast augmentation. Photo: Facebook

Louise Harvey from Norwich, who died 17 days after a breast augmentation. Photo: Facebook

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A beauty therapist who died from a blood clot after cosmetic surgery faced an increased risk of complications because of the length of the operation, an inquest has heard.

Louise Harvey, 36, of Calthorpe Road in Norwich, died on July 5 2018 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital 17 days after undergoing a breast enlargement and tummy tuck at the Transform Riverside Hospital in London.

A post-mortem examination recorded the mother-of-three died of a bilateral pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that occurs in the lungs.

Christopher Stone, a consultant plastic surgeon who was not involved in Miss Harvey's surgery, gave evidence at the inquest on October 30 as an independent expert.

Speaking at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich, Mr Stone said there was a slight increased risk of Miss Harvey developing a blood clot because the two procedures were carried out at the same time, lasting more than 90 minutes.

Mr Stone said: "If you are going to do two procedures the risk of venous thrombosis [blood clot] goes up slightly. In terms of the risk factors in this case it was the length of surgery."

Mr Stone said that although a tummy tuck was one of the higher risk plastic surgery operations the risk of a subsequent blood clot was low.

He added a delay in the first dose of blood thinners after the operation and the fact the second dose was not given before her hospital discharge would not have made a difference in her getting a blood clot.

Miss Harvey's blood-thinning prophylactic medication was meant to be given four to six hours after her operation. It was given 12 hours after the procedures, the inquest heard.

"Some surgeons give prophylactic medication up to 12 hours post operation," Mr Stone added.

Miss Harvey was discharged two days after the operation when her pain levels were zero.

She did not receive any blood thinners but wore compression stockings.

Mr Stone said: "There is no evidence that patients benefit from prophylactic medication post discharge."

Miss Harvey spent long periods of time in bed after the operations, despite being told to keep moving, according to evidence heard at the inquest.

The inquest continues.

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