A man from Thames Ditton who lost more than a litre of blood during surgery to remove a growth from his bowel died the day after his operation, an inquest heard.

Michael Gibbon, 70, of High Street, was admitted to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, on October 11, 2012, to remove the pre-cancerous polyps but died the following day after vomiting several times.

During the operation to remove the growth, Mr Gibbon lost one-and-a-half litres of blood from a vessel the size of a grain of rice, which Dr Iain Jourdan said was not expected in this type of surgery, with patients usually only losing 150ml.

Before he died, Mohima Salik, staff nurse, said she saw Mr Gibbon unresponsive with vomit on his face and gown.

After being given oxygen, he regained consciousness and said “I can’t breathe” to staff, but died shortly after 5.30pm, 45 minutes after a nurse recorded that he had been vomiting.

It was initially believed Mr Gibbon, who had suffered with epilepsy, may have had a fit before he died.

Mr Gibbon’s wife, Moya, told the inquest her husband had not had an epileptic seizure in 13 years and disputed that epilepsy played a part in his death.

She said: “There most definitely was not a sign of aura and I would not have left him [if there was]. They said they thought he had a fit and chocked on his vomit.”

Dr Jourdan said: “When anyone goes through a surgical procedure, individuals do have a slightly higher risk of fitting during surgery.

“But Mrs Gibbon had a clear picture of what would happen if he had a fit.”

A post-mortem examination revealed fresh blood and clot in the abdominal cavity, which Dr Louis Temple, pathologist, said would have come from a vessel within the cavity.

Delivering her conclusion, coroner Karen Henderson said Mr Gibbon died of a recognised complication of surgery.