11 Men Taking Legal Action After Concerns Over Prostate Treatment

Irwin Mitchell Investigating Medical Negligence Of ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ Surgeon


A group of male patients are taking legal action to investigate concerns regarding prostate treatment they received after being informed that their surgeon, who has appeared as an expert on TV show ‘Embarrassing Bodies’, was suspended by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have been instructed by 12 men who have had prostate cancer treatment or surgery by Consultant Urologist, Dr Arackal Narayan Manu Nair,  some have later found out that they didn’t even have cancer while others were given a treatment which had yet to be approved by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence).

The 11 men received letters from Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham and the Spire Parkway private hospital saying the surgeon’s practices had been reviewed and that a number of his patients were being recalled for review after conditions were imposed upon him by the GMC. It is understood that there could be as many as 180 men being reviewed as part of this process. They have been invited back to hospital to review and discuss the treatment they received.

Dr Manu Nair, who specialised in the treatment of prostate cancer, has since been investigated by the GMC which has placed strict conditions on his medical practice. Particularly, the GMC has suspended him from private practice, allowing him to only to work within an NHS setting under supervision. 

Further, the GMC has restricted him from carrying out laparoscopic prostatectomies and procedures involving Green Light Laser. The conditions imposed by the GMC are effective between the 4th November 2014 and 3rd May 2016.  According to the GMC’s website, Dr Manu Nair has a total of 11 conditions against his medical license.*

Some of the men who were treated by Dr Manu Nair now understand that their prostate was ‘pre-malignant’, meaning that they did not have prostate cancer and they should have been offered active surveillance rather than being encouraged to receive radical surgery.

Irwin Mitchell will now work with the representatives for the Heartlands Hospital Trust, the representatives for Spire Parkway Hospital and Dr Nair’s insurers to resolve the cases on behalf of the 11 patients quickly and fairly, so that they can get the necessary treatments and support they need to be able to be able to move on with their lives.

The law firm is also seeking answers on behalf of its clients as to how Dr Manu Nair was able to carry out the number of alleged negligent treatments on so many people.

Expert Opinion
“After hearing from the group of men who have instructed us to conduct an investigation, we are extremely concerned by Dr Manu Nair’s practices.

“The treatments received by our clients vary; some of them received radical surgery for a pre-malignant condition, some received HIFU treatment which, at the time, was yet to be approved by NICE, and some of our clients did require radical surgery but the surgical technique adopted by Dr Manu Nair was improper, resulting potentially in the spread of their prostate cancer for some of the men.

“The sanctions which have been placed upon his practice have come too late in the day to have saved, what appears to be a large number of gentlemen, from the serious damage they have suffered to their health and their daily lives as a result.

“Worryingly, our clients had accepted the symptoms they had been left with as the ‘price to pay to be cured from cancer’, when, in most of the cases, it is alleged that these adverse symptoms could have been avoidable.

“We are thoroughly investigating the care they received under the surgeon, both in the NHS and privately, to help provide our clients with the answers they so desperately seek as to what went wrong. They want to know how Dr Nair was able to operate on them without having their cases discussed at multi-disciplinary meetings. It is also important to find out how many other patients could have been affected to make sure anyone who has received poor quality treatments has the chance of it being reviewed, to ensure that they receive any follow-up treatment they need.

“Dr Manu Nair is well known within the industry but our clients have been left with permanent damage which has changed their lives forever. Although they’re relieved to know Dr Manu Nair is currently restricted from carrying out the procedures they underwent, they will sadly bear the scars for the rest of their lives.

“Patient safety must be the number one priority across all healthcare providers, whether in the NHS or in private hospitals. It is essential that a thorough investigation is carried out, not only into the treatment our clients received under the care of Dr Manu Nair but also into what steps were taken to ensure that any problems were kept to a minimum.”
Adam Wright, Solicitor

One man, from Birmingham, was left infertile and suffering from incontinence problems after Dr Manu Nair carried out a new laser treatment on him in 2012.

He had been referred to Dr Manu Nair on the NHS at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. He was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and was told by the surgeon that he faced a ‘life or death situation’ and needed urgent medical attention.

Dr Manu Nair advised him that his options for treatment were either to have a radical prostatectomy (removal of prostate gland) or HIFU (High intensity focused ultrasound) treatment. Our client elected to receive HIFU on the basis that it was a much less invasive procedure and he was told there were virtually no side effects. Dr Manu Nair convinced him to receive the treatment privately, due to waiting times in the NHS. He paid £12,000 so that he could receive the treatment privately as he did not have private medical insurance.

A month after the treatment he was in agonising pain and he was unable to urinate. He woke one night needing to go to the toilet and experiencing extreme pain before passing two large pieces of tissue from his penis which he describes as “the single most painful experience of my life”.

He attended A&E where the tissue was taken from him to be analysed. He was later told that he had passed parts of his “cooked” prostate gland. He continues to suffer from episodes of urinary incontinence and impotence. Most distressingly, he is now unable to start a family with his wife of 23 years.

He said: “My whole way of life has changed and being told that I can no longer have children is just soul-destroying. I was relatively young when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and I had so much to look forward to in my life. I knew of the risks of prostate cancer and I was surprised to be diagnosed at 43 as I thought it was something which happened in older men. 

“I was horrified when I discovered that I had passed part of my dead prostate gland after treatment I had been recommended by Dr Manu Nair. It was the single most painful experience of my life and it has left me with permanent damage. I hope that with the help from Irwin Mitchell that a thorough investigation is carried out to ensure no other men have to go through the horrific ordeal I have experienced.

“I would also like to help raise awareness about prostate cancer and the importance of seeking advice from doctors, particularly amongst young men, and I would urge them if they experience any symptoms or have any concerns to visit their GP as soon as they can.”

He has recently been reviewed by a different Consultant Urologist who states in a letter to him that he was ‘misled to some extent that this was aggressive cancer’ and that it is not surprising that ‘there will be debris that passes though the urethra’.

Another patient, who wishes not to be named, is a 63-year-old man who was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery to remove his prostate by Dr Manu Nair in 2009 only to later be told by an independent medical expert that his prostate gland was pre-malignant and he did not need the operation.

Instead, it is alleged he should have been offered active surveillance, thereby completely avoiding the need for surgery and its side effects. The patient was initially offered HIFU treatment by Dr Manu Nair but his health insurers refused to fund the treatment on the basis that it was not yet approved by NICE.

He said: “I am horrified that I have gone through hell over the past few years just to find out that I did not even have cancer in the first place. I just can’t believe how many people have already come forward with issues regarding their treatment. How can this be allowed to happen to so many people?”

Specialist medical negligence lawyers Adam Wright and Tom Fletcher at Irwin Mitchell are investigating these cases on behalf of the group and would urge anyone with similar concerns who may be able to help with their enquiries to contact them on 0370 1500 100 or email Tom.Fletcher@irwinmitchell.com or Adam.Wright@irwinmitchell.com

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of surgical negligence, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.