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Failed Vasectomy Surgery Compensation Claims

Your Legal Friend client Mr Dowse

They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently.

Mr Dowse
Leeds

Claiming for a failed vasectomy

Taking the decision to have a vasectomy can be a difficult one but when a man makes the choice, either for personal or medical reasons, they expect the procedure to be conducted by competent medical professionals and for any complications to be picked up and treated efficiently.

The decision to undergo a vasectomy is never taken lightly. Even though more than half of all men who are sterilised will later decide they wish to reverse their decision, at the time it is expected that the sterilisation will be permanent.

Most men that undergo the vasectomy procedure in the UK receive an excellent level of care and don’t experience further complications.

But this, unfortunately, is not always the case and failed vasectomies do occur. For some men, the operation fails, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy, can lead to an infection, or clinical errors made during the operation may mean that further surgeries are needed in the future.

A failed vasectomy can turn your life upside down and we know that compensation can’t undo that. Any clinical negligence which has caused injury or harm may require a further procedure or an extended period of recovery.  It could mean taking time off work and a loss of earnings. Making a claim can help ease financial concerns that you have and help you move forward with the rest of your life. Whether you want to take a case forward after an unexpected pregnancy or following complications that have affected you, contacting us should be your next step.

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Our expert team will call you...

Our medical negligence team has years of experience working on a wide variety of medical malpractice cases so we understand just how difficult a decision it can be to bring a medical negligence case.

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That’s why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process. We ensure that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by our specialist solicitors, while working alongside medical experts, to guarantee the best results for you.

Our medical negligence team is headed by Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high value medical negligence cases.

Laura is recognised within the legal profession as a leader in the field of medical negligence and serious injury compensation.  Laura has acted in a wide range of cases over her 17 years of practice and has particular expertise in acting for children who have suffered brain injury due to mismanaged birth or surgical errors, and in managing claims that have resulted in the death of a loved one. Laura has achieved a number of large settlements including £5.4 million for a 7 year old and £4 million for an 11 year old child.

Laura’s expertise and dedication to her clients is recognised in the Chambers guide to the Legal Profession in which she was praised for the efficiency of her approach to case handling and described as “tenacious and detail-oriented”.

Laura has been a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel since 2005 and accredited as a Senior Litigator in the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) since 2006.  Laura is also a member of the specialist lawyers panel for Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the UK’s leading charity committed to patient safety and justice.

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors, call us now on 0808 115 9269(calls free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.

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The effects of medical negligence can be devastating for the individual and their families, so securing appropriate compensation for them as quickly as possible is our top priority.

Laura Morgan

Director of Medical Negligence

What our customers say

Mrs. Vora's portrait

“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

A photo of Mr Dowse

“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

Mr Dowse
Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining your medical records
Step
2
Providing your statement of what happened
Step
3
Minimising your loss
Step
4
Establishing that a breach of duty occurred
Step
5
Estabilishing the effect of the breach of duty
Step
86
Preparing your case for CourtCalculating the value of your claim
Step
7
Proving your loss
Step
68
Calculating the value of your claimPreparing your case for Court
Step
9
Attending the trial in Court
Step
10
Awarding your compensation claim

Your questions... answered

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilization, providing permanent contraception. It’s an option that over 10,000 men choose every year in the UK. It’s effective in more than 99% of cases. For every 2,000 men who are sterilised, one will get a woman pregnant during the rest of his lifetime.

It is a minor outpatient procedure that usually lasts between 15 to 30 minutes and can be performed by a GP in their own surgery.

Using a local anaesthetic, the doctor makes a small incision in the side of the scrotum with a scalpel or laser to cut the ‘vas deferens’ – the tubes that carries the sperm. The two ends of the cut tube are then sealed.

  • If a scalpel was used – a few stitches might be required.
  • Laser surgery - usually does not require any stitches.

A vasectomy does not stop sperm production. Although the vas deferens are cut and sperm cannot enter, it is possible for sperm to continue living in the tubes. It is advised that contraception should be used for at least eight weeks after the procedure.

Can I claim for a failed vasectomy?

If you’ve been affected by a failed vasectomy you may be able to make a compensation claim. In order to be successful, you will need to prove that the failure was a result of medical negligence and caused you undue suffering.

There are different ways that this can be shown, depending on your personal case. For instance, the initial procedure may not have been completed adequately, leading to sperm still being present in the semen, or test results to measure fertility not being accurate. Demonstrating undue suffering also varies from case to case. For instance, if a failed vasectomy has resulted in an unwanted pregnancy or if a complication of medical negligence led to you needing to take time off work and losing income.

A doctor should properly inform the patient that pain, swelling and bruising are all likely to occur following the procedure and that there is a 1-2% risk of pain, which may continue for months.

Men involved with heavy manual work - should be warned that secondary bleeding can occur with serious consequences if they do not take several days off work.

When you choose Your Legal Friend, we work with you to build a case and can offer the advice and support you need throughout. If you’re unsure if you have a failed vasectomy case that you could take forward, we’re here to help too. Using our knowledge of the legal process, we’ll help you understand and build a claim that gives you the best possible chance of holding those responsible to account and awarding you financial compensation.

How much compensation will I get?

The amount of compensation you could receive from a failed vasectomy case varies as it takes your personal experience into account. When you work with us, we’ll take the time to listen to your case, allowing us to put an accurate value on your personal case.

We take a wide range of factors into consideration when valuing you failed vasectomy. This could include complications you have endured, such as intense long-term testicle pain, the need for further surgery, or blood clots developing, and whether the failure of the procedure has resulted in an unexpected pregnancy.

Without first talking to you about your experience, we can’t say how much compensation you case could win if successful. However, medical negligence is a serious issue and the NHS pays out millions every year to those that have been affected, including where complications have arisen, tests have not been conducted properly, or procedures have not been conducted as they should have been. If you’ve been affected by failed vasectomy and medical negligence, it’s your right to take legal action to hold them to account and we can help you.

What could I be compensated for?

It may be possible to claim compensation that could:

  • Cover the cost of another vasectomy procedure
  • A fixed sum for the distress caused by an unwanted pregnancy.
  • If a failed vasectomy results in the birth of a child
  • Further expenses may be claimed for the child’s upbringing if the child has  an impairment or disability.

How long do I have to make a claim?

As with all medical negligence claims, you must make a compensation claim for a failed vasectomy within three years, after this point you don’t won’t be able to hold those responsible to account.

The timeframe for making a compensation claim, however, doesn’t start from the date that you had the procedure but when you first realised that mistakes had been made. The legal term for this is the ‘date of knowledge’ and in failed vasectomy cases this can be a considerable amount of time after the operation has taken place. In some cases, it can be difficult to understand when the ‘date of knowledge’ occurred and therefore work out exactly how long you have to take action. But we’re here to offer you support. Using our skills in medical negligence claims, we’ll help you identify your timeframe.

While you do have up to three years to process your failed vasectomy claim, we advise that our clients act as soon as they can. This not only ensures the process concludes quicker, enabling you to move forward, but can help with building your case. We’ll use medical records, test results, and more to support your claims and typically these are easier to obtain closer to the point of knowledge. You will also be required to give a witness statement and the more details you can recall, the stronger it will be.

How is a vasectomy carried out?

A vasectomy is considered a minor operation that cut, blocks, or seals the tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles to the penis, acting as an effective contraception. The whole procedure can normally be completed in around 15 minutes and using local anaesthetic, allowing most men having the operation to return home the same day. In some cases, general anaesthetic may be used, where the patient is asleep during the operation, but this is rare. 

A vasectomy can be performed at either a GP surgery, hospital, sexual health clinic, or a private clinic. Before you have a vasectomy, your doctor will ask about your circumstances and provide information and counselling before agreeing to complete the procedure. These steps aim to ensure that you are certain about having a vasectomy.

There are two types of vasectomy that can be performed:

  • Conventional vasectomy

This is the traditional method of performing a vasectomy. During this procedure, local anaesthetic is used to numb the scrotum, allowing the doctors to make two small cuts, one each side, the incisions will be around 1cm long. Through these incisions, the tubes that carry sperm will be cut and a small section removed before they are either tied or sealed. Usually the incisions are then stitched using dissolvable stitches.

  • No-scalpel vasectomy

As the name suggests, a no-scalpel vasectomy doesn’t involve making incisions. Instead, the doctor will feel for the tubes and hold them in place using a small clamp. An instrument is then used to make a tiny puncture hole in the skin, which can then be opened up using a small pair of forceps. The tubes are closed up in the same ways as a conventional vasectomy but there is no need for stitches. It’s chosen over the traditional operation as it’s thought to be less painful following the procedure and reduce the risk of complications occurring.

Should a test follow a vasectomy?

A vasectomy doesn’t work immediately. You should be advised to use contraception for the first eight weeks after the operation and up to two semen tests should also be conducted, to ensure that all the sperm has gone.

If you’ve not had a test following the vasectomy it could mean it has failed but that you’re unaware, meaning that you’re still fertile. You should be able to rely on those responsible for the vasectomy to ensure that the necessary tests are carried out to identify any potential issues. In some cases, a test may not be conducted properly or results read inaccurately, leading to you believing that it has worked when this isn’t the case.

If tests have indicated that the vasectomy was successful when this wasn’t the case, you may be able to make a compensation claim to reflect the medical negligence that has occurred in you care.

What advice should you receive after a failed vasectomy?

Following a vasectomy, you should be given advice by those that are responsible for your care. This advice ensures that you don’t get a woman pregnant and can reduce the risk of other complications occurring.

You should be told to use another form of protection for at least eight weeks after the operation, as the sperm can stay in the tubes leading to the penis for this long. You should also be offered tests to ensure that sperm is no longer in the semen, indicating that the vasectomy has been a success. If you weren’t given the advice you should or weren’t given a test, you may have the basis of a compensation claim. We can help you take a failed vasectomy compensation claim forward if you’ve been affected.

Can a vasectomy cause other complications?

The effects of error or negligence may include:

  • Inadequate cutting of the vas deferens tubes – leading to an unwanted pregnancy
  • Mistakes made in cutting a ligament - causing nerve damage or loss of sensation
  • Extensive incision - resulting in scarring, possible disfigurement, and damage to the testicles

As with all procedures a vasectomy does carry some risks, including the chance of an infection developing. Some other serious side effects that can follow a vasectomy are:

  • Haematoma – A haematoma is where broken blood vessels allow blood to collect and clot in the surrounding tissue. It can lead to swelling and cause pain, which may mean that further surgery is needed.
  • Sperm granulomas – In rare cases sperm can leak into the surrounding tissue if the tubes are not properly tied or sealed. This can lead to hard lumps forming that may cause swelling and pain.
  • Long term pain – Around one in ten men experience long-term testicle pain after a vasectomy, either in one or both of their testicles. The pain is usually the result of a pinched nerve or scaring and can range from occasional dull aches to frequent, sharp, intense pain, although this is rare. Further surgery may be recommended to minimise pain in some cases.
  • Infection – As with all procedures, there is a risk of an infection developing, due to bacteria being able to enter the site through the incisions made. In most cases these infections are easily treatable.
  • Recanalisation – In rare cases it is possible for the tubes to grow back together, resulting in the man becoming fertile again.

While the complications of a vasectomy are rare you may be able to make a compensation claim if you experienced complications due to medical negligence. If you’ve been let down by those responsible for your care after undergoing a vasectomy, you should be able to hold them to account. You may not be able to claim for all complications of a vasectomy and it will depend on the circumstances of your case. But if you want to learn more, one of our experienced solicitors will be able to offer you the advice you’re looking for.

What happens if a pregnancy occurs after a vasectomy?

There are two types of failed vasectomy:

Short-term failure

It can take up to six months for semen to be clear of sperm after a vasectomy operation. Patients must be informed that they will remain fertile for up to four months following a vasectomy and that they must continue to practice contraception until it is confirmed that the sperm is no longer present.

Two samples of seminal fluid should be produced no earlier than 10 or 12 weeks following a vasectomy. If either of the first two tests shows any sperm, then the test must be repeated until two consecutive analyses show no sperm dead or alive.

If conception occurs during this period, the failure of the vasectomy is considered as short-term as the procedure has not yet become effective.

 Long-term failure

If sperm is still active six months after the vasectomy, then the procedure has failed because:

  • The vas deferens tubes were not cut correctly, or
  • The cut/blocked tubes have rejoined naturally and sperm can once again enter the semen

Can vasectomies be reversed?

Reversing a vasectomy is a complicated procedure to rejoin the vans deferens tubes that were cut or blocked.

Depending on the age of the couple, it is estimated that the success rate of a vasectomy reversal is:

  • Up to 55% if you have your vasectomy reversed within 10 years.
  • Around 25% after more than 10 years.

What are the statistics on failed vasectomies?

Every year thousands of vasectomies are conducted across the year and in 99% of cases the procedure is successful. For every 2,000 men that have the operation, just one will get a woman pregnant during his lifetime. The odds mean that it’s an attractive contraceptive method for men that are sure they don’t want children in the future.

Other complications of vasectomies are rare too. Although, around one in ten men will experience long-term testicle pain following the procedure. However, in many cases, this is an occasional dull ache that is uncomfortable rather than intense pain.

Recent statistics

  • 15,106 vasectomies were performed in 2013 compared to 37,700 in 2001/02, a fall of 60%.
  • The number of vasectomies fell by 16% between 2012 and 2014. (NHS Information Centre and Hospital Episode Statistics, 2014)

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilization, providing permanent contraception. It’s an option that over 10,000 men choose every year in the UK. It’s effective in more than 99% of cases. For every 2,000 men who are sterilised, one will get a woman pregnant during the rest of his lifetime.

It is a minor outpatient procedure that usually lasts between 15 to 30 minutes and can be performed by a GP in their own surgery.

Using a local anaesthetic, the doctor makes a small incision in the side of the scrotum with a scalpel or laser to cut the ‘vas deferens’ – the tubes that carries the sperm. The two ends of the cut tube are then sealed.

  • If a scalpel was used – a few stitches might be required.
  • Laser surgery - usually does not require any stitches.

A vasectomy does not stop sperm production. Although the vas deferens are cut and sperm cannot enter, it is possible for sperm to continue living in the tubes. It is advised that contraception should be used for at least eight weeks after the procedure.

If you’ve been affected by a failed vasectomy you may be able to make a compensation claim. In order to be successful, you will need to prove that the failure was a result of medical negligence and caused you undue suffering.

There are different ways that this can be shown, depending on your personal case. For instance, the initial procedure may not have been completed adequately, leading to sperm still being present in the semen, or test results to measure fertility not being accurate. Demonstrating undue suffering also varies from case to case. For instance, if a failed vasectomy has resulted in an unwanted pregnancy or if a complication of medical negligence led to you needing to take time off work and losing income.

A doctor should properly inform the patient that pain, swelling and bruising are all likely to occur following the procedure and that there is a 1-2% risk of pain, which may continue for months.

Men involved with heavy manual work - should be warned that secondary bleeding can occur with serious consequences if they do not take several days off work.

When you choose Your Legal Friend, we work with you to build a case and can offer the advice and support you need throughout. If you’re unsure if you have a failed vasectomy case that you could take forward, we’re here to help too. Using our knowledge of the legal process, we’ll help you understand and build a claim that gives you the best possible chance of holding those responsible to account and awarding you financial compensation.

The amount of compensation you could receive from a failed vasectomy case varies as it takes your personal experience into account. When you work with us, we’ll take the time to listen to your case, allowing us to put an accurate value on your personal case.

We take a wide range of factors into consideration when valuing you failed vasectomy. This could include complications you have endured, such as intense long-term testicle pain, the need for further surgery, or blood clots developing, and whether the failure of the procedure has resulted in an unexpected pregnancy.

Without first talking to you about your experience, we can’t say how much compensation you case could win if successful. However, medical negligence is a serious issue and the NHS pays out millions every year to those that have been affected, including where complications have arisen, tests have not been conducted properly, or procedures have not been conducted as they should have been. If you’ve been affected by failed vasectomy and medical negligence, it’s your right to take legal action to hold them to account and we can help you.

It may be possible to claim compensation that could:

  • Cover the cost of another vasectomy procedure
  • A fixed sum for the distress caused by an unwanted pregnancy.
  • If a failed vasectomy results in the birth of a child
  • Further expenses may be claimed for the child’s upbringing if the child has  an impairment or disability.

As with all medical negligence claims, you must make a compensation claim for a failed vasectomy within three years, after this point you don’t won’t be able to hold those responsible to account.

The timeframe for making a compensation claim, however, doesn’t start from the date that you had the procedure but when you first realised that mistakes had been made. The legal term for this is the ‘date of knowledge’ and in failed vasectomy cases this can be a considerable amount of time after the operation has taken place. In some cases, it can be difficult to understand when the ‘date of knowledge’ occurred and therefore work out exactly how long you have to take action. But we’re here to offer you support. Using our skills in medical negligence claims, we’ll help you identify your timeframe.

While you do have up to three years to process your failed vasectomy claim, we advise that our clients act as soon as they can. This not only ensures the process concludes quicker, enabling you to move forward, but can help with building your case. We’ll use medical records, test results, and more to support your claims and typically these are easier to obtain closer to the point of knowledge. You will also be required to give a witness statement and the more details you can recall, the stronger it will be.

A vasectomy is considered a minor operation that cut, blocks, or seals the tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles to the penis, acting as an effective contraception. The whole procedure can normally be completed in around 15 minutes and using local anaesthetic, allowing most men having the operation to return home the same day. In some cases, general anaesthetic may be used, where the patient is asleep during the operation, but this is rare. 

A vasectomy can be performed at either a GP surgery, hospital, sexual health clinic, or a private clinic. Before you have a vasectomy, your doctor will ask about your circumstances and provide information and counselling before agreeing to complete the procedure. These steps aim to ensure that you are certain about having a vasectomy.

There are two types of vasectomy that can be performed:

  • Conventional vasectomy

This is the traditional method of performing a vasectomy. During this procedure, local anaesthetic is used to numb the scrotum, allowing the doctors to make two small cuts, one each side, the incisions will be around 1cm long. Through these incisions, the tubes that carry sperm will be cut and a small section removed before they are either tied or sealed. Usually the incisions are then stitched using dissolvable stitches.

  • No-scalpel vasectomy

As the name suggests, a no-scalpel vasectomy doesn’t involve making incisions. Instead, the doctor will feel for the tubes and hold them in place using a small clamp. An instrument is then used to make a tiny puncture hole in the skin, which can then be opened up using a small pair of forceps. The tubes are closed up in the same ways as a conventional vasectomy but there is no need for stitches. It’s chosen over the traditional operation as it’s thought to be less painful following the procedure and reduce the risk of complications occurring.

A vasectomy doesn’t work immediately. You should be advised to use contraception for the first eight weeks after the operation and up to two semen tests should also be conducted, to ensure that all the sperm has gone.

If you’ve not had a test following the vasectomy it could mean it has failed but that you’re unaware, meaning that you’re still fertile. You should be able to rely on those responsible for the vasectomy to ensure that the necessary tests are carried out to identify any potential issues. In some cases, a test may not be conducted properly or results read inaccurately, leading to you believing that it has worked when this isn’t the case.

If tests have indicated that the vasectomy was successful when this wasn’t the case, you may be able to make a compensation claim to reflect the medical negligence that has occurred in you care.

Following a vasectomy, you should be given advice by those that are responsible for your care. This advice ensures that you don’t get a woman pregnant and can reduce the risk of other complications occurring.

You should be told to use another form of protection for at least eight weeks after the operation, as the sperm can stay in the tubes leading to the penis for this long. You should also be offered tests to ensure that sperm is no longer in the semen, indicating that the vasectomy has been a success. If you weren’t given the advice you should or weren’t given a test, you may have the basis of a compensation claim. We can help you take a failed vasectomy compensation claim forward if you’ve been affected.

The effects of error or negligence may include:

  • Inadequate cutting of the vas deferens tubes – leading to an unwanted pregnancy
  • Mistakes made in cutting a ligament - causing nerve damage or loss of sensation
  • Extensive incision - resulting in scarring, possible disfigurement, and damage to the testicles

As with all procedures a vasectomy does carry some risks, including the chance of an infection developing. Some other serious side effects that can follow a vasectomy are:

  • Haematoma – A haematoma is where broken blood vessels allow blood to collect and clot in the surrounding tissue. It can lead to swelling and cause pain, which may mean that further surgery is needed.
  • Sperm granulomas – In rare cases sperm can leak into the surrounding tissue if the tubes are not properly tied or sealed. This can lead to hard lumps forming that may cause swelling and pain.
  • Long term pain – Around one in ten men experience long-term testicle pain after a vasectomy, either in one or both of their testicles. The pain is usually the result of a pinched nerve or scaring and can range from occasional dull aches to frequent, sharp, intense pain, although this is rare. Further surgery may be recommended to minimise pain in some cases.
  • Infection – As with all procedures, there is a risk of an infection developing, due to bacteria being able to enter the site through the incisions made. In most cases these infections are easily treatable.
  • Recanalisation – In rare cases it is possible for the tubes to grow back together, resulting in the man becoming fertile again.

While the complications of a vasectomy are rare you may be able to make a compensation claim if you experienced complications due to medical negligence. If you’ve been let down by those responsible for your care after undergoing a vasectomy, you should be able to hold them to account. You may not be able to claim for all complications of a vasectomy and it will depend on the circumstances of your case. But if you want to learn more, one of our experienced solicitors will be able to offer you the advice you’re looking for.

There are two types of failed vasectomy:

Short-term failure

It can take up to six months for semen to be clear of sperm after a vasectomy operation. Patients must be informed that they will remain fertile for up to four months following a vasectomy and that they must continue to practice contraception until it is confirmed that the sperm is no longer present.

Two samples of seminal fluid should be produced no earlier than 10 or 12 weeks following a vasectomy. If either of the first two tests shows any sperm, then the test must be repeated until two consecutive analyses show no sperm dead or alive.

If conception occurs during this period, the failure of the vasectomy is considered as short-term as the procedure has not yet become effective.

 Long-term failure

If sperm is still active six months after the vasectomy, then the procedure has failed because:

  • The vas deferens tubes were not cut correctly, or
  • The cut/blocked tubes have rejoined naturally and sperm can once again enter the semen

Reversing a vasectomy is a complicated procedure to rejoin the vans deferens tubes that were cut or blocked.

Depending on the age of the couple, it is estimated that the success rate of a vasectomy reversal is:

  • Up to 55% if you have your vasectomy reversed within 10 years.
  • Around 25% after more than 10 years.

Every year thousands of vasectomies are conducted across the year and in 99% of cases the procedure is successful. For every 2,000 men that have the operation, just one will get a woman pregnant during his lifetime. The odds mean that it’s an attractive contraceptive method for men that are sure they don’t want children in the future.

Other complications of vasectomies are rare too. Although, around one in ten men will experience long-term testicle pain following the procedure. However, in many cases, this is an occasional dull ache that is uncomfortable rather than intense pain.

Recent statistics

  • 15,106 vasectomies were performed in 2013 compared to 37,700 in 2001/02, a fall of 60%.
  • The number of vasectomies fell by 16% between 2012 and 2014. (NHS Information Centre and Hospital Episode Statistics, 2014)