Complications during gynaecologic surgery are sometimes due to the uterus (womb) and ovaries being very close to other organs, such as the bowel, urinary tract, nerves, and blood vessels.
Many of the operations are routine and nearly always carried out safely by an experienced and competent surgeon involving either:
As with all operations, each type of surgery carries its own specific techniques and risks.
The role of today’s surgeon is no longer simply to select and perform an appropriate procedure. There is an increasing emphasis placed on creating individual “risk reduction” strategies and patient counselling, which are aimed at lessening the chance of something going wrong at any stage.
A surgeon owes you a duty of care to:
The physical harm and psychological injury caused by error, negligence or a sub-standard technique during gynaecological surgery can be truly life-changing. In some cases, the outcome of a negligent procedure will leave a young woman unable to have children.
If you feel strongly that the standard of care you received before, during or after gynaecological surgery fell below the appropriate standards reasonably expected, you may have a claim for clinical negligence.
Reaching a decision to pursue a claim is not always easy, especially for intimate injuries. Our team of both male and female lawyers are sensitive to the very personal nature of gynaecological claims and how you are likely to be affected.
Your Legal Friend has many years of experience in successfully resolving different types of clinical negligence cases. Our specialist knowledge of both legal and medical issues can provide you with all the expert guidance you will need to help you succeed in making your case heard.
We can help you:
Common gynaecological procedures and their risks
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can grow inside or on the surface of the ovaries. They are usually removed by keyhole surgery, although standard surgery will be required if the ovaries are cancerous.
Risks of ovarian surgery include:
The pelvic organs - bladder, rectum and vaginal areas – can become stretched out of position during pregnancy. Known as a prolapse, this may become permanent.
There are two types of procedures:
A vaginally placed mesh has a significant risk of complications, including mesh erosion, pain, infection and urinary incontinence.
Stress incontinence is usually caused by the weakening or damaging of the muscles used to prevent the unintentional passing of urine, often following childbirth.
To reduce pressure on the bladder, surgical treatments include the attachment of a tape or a sling.
Tape procedure risks
A sling can be made of:
A hysterectomy is irreversible and a woman should only consent to the operation if she does not wish to have children in the future. There are two types of hysterectomy:
Vaginal hysterectomy - the womb is removed through the vagina.
A hysterectomy is nearly always necessary if there is a confirmed diagnosis of:
The procedure is also usually recommended when ovarian cancer is diagnosed.
Many hysterectomies are still performed even if cancer is not present. A doctor may strongly advise the procedure where bleeding or pain from the womb is causing increasing difficulties.
Risks associated with both procedures:
A procedure often carried out to stop heavy vaginal bleeding caused by suspected polyps (growths) or cancer of the womb. The cervix (neck of the womb) is opened and a spoon-shaped instrument called a “curette” is used to scrape the lining from the deeper layers of the uterus, which usually stops the bleeding.
Side effects include:
Surgery used when birth trauma causes damage to the walls of the vagina.
This is a common procedure to stop excessive menstrual bleeding. Treatment involves the destruction of the womb's inner lining by scarring the tissue in one of the following ways:
Removal of an ovary can take place when cancer is confirmed or if there are multiple painful cysts. The procedure may also be carried out if endometriosis (womb lining material) is detected.
It may be considered unnecessary to remove the entire ovary if:
Tubal ligation is a form of permanent sterilisation. It is therefore essential that, before a patient consents to proceed with sterilisation, they do so having been made fully aware and also clearly understand that the procedure is permanent. At the same time, a patient should also be informed that there is a slight chance that the procedure will not work and a pregnancy can still occur.
The operation is usually carried out by keyhole surgery. A portion of the fallopian tube is usually removed to prove that the procedure was successful and the cut ends are tied, burned or clipped.
Errors made during the insertion of a contraceptive coil can cause a tear to the uterus.
Hysteroscopy (an internal examination of the womb) and Laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) are common minor procedures that should present no difficulty. Poor or negligent technique can cause tears or rips to organ tissue, bleeding and further complications.
Gynaecological surgery claim
Gynaecological claims can fall into one of two categories:
- a failure to carry out appropriate tests, or
- misreading test results after having carried out the correct tests
- carrying out an incorrect procedure in response to a certain set of circumstances, or
- carrying out the procedure in an incorrect manner after selecting the correct procedure in a certain set of circumstances.
To bring a successful negligence claim, it will be necessary to prove that:
How Your Legal Friend can help you
Mistakes made during gynaecological surgery can lead to painful complications, long term injuries and irreversible damage.
As experienced clinical negligence specialists, we know that the physical and psychological trauma that can arise from a gynaecological injury can also affect personal and social wellbeing. We also know that you will want to find out why your surgeon failed you or a family member in their duty to provide the expected standard of care and treatment.
From our first conversation and throughout the case, Your Legal Friend is committed to fighting for your interests every step of the way. Our task is to ensure your voice is heard and your case made in order to bring the hospital, health trust or medical practitioner to account for the harm and suffering caused.
Your Legal Friend is committed to ensuring victims of clinical negligence obtain answers and receive appropriate compensation so that their future medical treatment and care needs are properly met.