Inquest begins into surgery death in 'beach chair' position

Former Wellington captain Marc Verhoeven, 50, underwent elective surgery to repair a rotator cuff in his right shoulder at St Vincent's Private Hospital on 15 August, 2011.

The surgery was successful but he never woke up from the anaesthetic and died three days later.

"Mr Verhoeven had a massive catastrophic stroke on the operating table, because there wasn't enough oxygen getting to his brain," counsel assisting the coroner, Kirsten Edwards, told Glebe Coroner