Breast op patient died after anaesthetic

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2011, 12:00am


A 42kg woman who died after breast enhancement surgery last year was given enough anaesthetic for a 50kg person, the coroner's court heard yesterday.

Zoey Leung Kwan, 24, wanted the surgery to be a surprise for her boyfriend. She went in for the operation at a private clinic in Nathan Road on April 30 last year.

The court heard that she had breathing problems and suffered twitching in her limbs soon after she was given the anaesthetic and was sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She died on May 11.

Leung Mei, 23, a registered nurse, testified that the surgeon, Dr Wong Kar-mau, told her on the night her sister was admitted into hospital that he had injected 20 millilitres of diluted anaesthetic into each breast.

'I had never seen anyone using so much anaesthetic before,' she said.

She said Wong told her he had given Leung enough anaesthetic for a 50kg person, even though her weight was only 42kg.

Wong said in court he had not weighed Leung before performing the surgery.

A registered doctor since 1979, he started performing plastic surgeries in 1993 and had performed around 80 breast enhancements.

He is a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology. He said the first ambulance did not have a laryngeal mask airway needed to help her breathe. It was only after about 45 minutes later that an ambulance motorcycle took the device to the clinic.

Leung was given a choice to undergo the enhancement surgery at Wong's clinic or at a private hospital, and Wong said she chose the clinic as she would have to stay overnight at the hospital.

'She said her birthday was coming up and she wanted to surprise her boyfriend. She had kept it secret from her friends and family,' he said.

The inquest continues before Coroner Michael Chan Pik-kiu.