A FORMER leading surgeon at the Royal Oldham Hospital has been cleared of acting inappropriately over the death of a patient treated for the repair of an aneurysm.

Mr Riza Ibrahim was director of vascular services for the Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust when he was asked to perform the procedure, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing was told.

The patient, who has not been named, had complained of not being able to walk even short distances without pain and, following scans, it emerged he had an abdominal aortic aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease.

This had resulted in narrowing of the patient's arteries in the pelvis, restricting blood flow to the femoral arteries, the hearing was told.

Mr Riza recommended the use of a Nellix device, an aneurysm sealing system, for the problem.

But a fitness to practise hearing was told that following unforeseen complications during surgery, in April 2015, the patient lost his life.

Later a formal complaint was made by the patient's mother to the General Medical Council. Mr Riza was alleged to have failed to inform the patient of alternative treatment options.

The MPTS heard it was also contended the decision to perform the procedure was incorrect and he did not abandon the operation when surgical difficulties arose.

Mr Ibrahim said he had completed approximately 155 endovascular repairs from 2006, 26 involving the Nellix device, without any problems.

An expert witness, Prof Francesco Torella, said while an open repair would have been his preferred option, Mr Riza's methodology was 'reasonable'.

Mr Riza was also accused of failing to communicate with the patient's family afterwards. But he said he had been informed more than once that the family did not wish to speak with him.

Giving evidence, Mr Riza said he helped to build a team at the hospital trust which had greatly improved the outcomes for vascular patients.

But he added: "This tragic event has certainly brought my focus back to the individual. I now tailor every action I take as a professional around the individual patients wishes and beliefs.

"Every time I discuss treatment options with a patient, this tragic event is always at the back of my mind."

The MPTS tribunal found the majority of charges against Mr Riza not proven and his fitness to practise was not impaired.

However they did rule he had not outlined alternative treatments to the patient nor obtained informed consent. And during the operation he had inappropriately instructed another doctor to inject a polymer without pressure monitoring.

Panel chairman Paul Moulder said: "It is clear to the tribunal that he has seriously reflected on the issues in this case and how his practice and that of hospitals where he worked could be improved."