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Injury in Surgery


What is a surgical injury?

All surgery has its risks. However, there are occasions when a patient suffers an injury that should have been avoided if the procedure had been performed to the required standard. The injury can be due to the actions or inaction of the surgeon, anaesthetist or other medical professional. Surgical accidents and mistakes can leave the patient with pain, damage to organs or body parts or disability. Sometimes, the damage needs to be repaired through additional surgery. Occasionally, it is fatal.


What are 'never events'?

'Never events' are incidents that are entirely preventable, such as swabs or instruments being left inside the body, surgery being performed on the wrong part of the body or on the wrong person, or the wrong type of blood given during a blood transfusion. We have helped many people who have suffered an injury in surgery, or experienced surgical complications, to make a successful claim for compensation.



Common surgical injury claims include:

  • Damage to veins and arteries
  • Injury to bladder, bowel or uterus
  • Nerve damage
  • Post-operative infection
  • Problems with anaesthetic
  • Scarring, disfigurement and ongoing pain

No Win No Fee

  • Pay nothing upfront
  • Pay nothing as the claim progresses
  • Pay nothing if you lose

Start your surgical claim today


Alan Mendham

Medical Negligence Solicitor and Partner

“If a surgeon’s technique is below standard or they make a mistake and cause an injury, the patient suffers. Some need more surgery to repair the damage or are left having to deal with ongoing health problems or disability.”

More on surgical injury

General surgery

General surgery covers a wide range of surgical procedures including organ transplants. Often, it involves treatment of problems related to the abdomen and the digestive system. This includes the oesophagus, bowel and colon, organs such as the stomach, liver and pancreas and the gallbladder and bile ducts. It also includes thyroid surgery and breast surgery. Surgical procedures to treat appendicitis, gallstones and hernias are common.

Orthopaedic surgery

Orthopaedic surgery is the surgical treatment of anything relating to the musculoskeletal system; that is your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. It includes treatment for fractures, deformities of the spine, arthritis, joint replacements and amputation. Orthopaedic problems can be present from birth (such as scoliosis and congenital dislocation of the hip), or can happen as a result of an accident or trauma. They can also occur because of disease or as part of normal ageing such as with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. When surgery goes wrong, it is usually as a result of poor technique, misinterpretation of X-rays or because of the choice of surgery.

Gynaecological surgery

Gynaecological injuries are usually associated with surgery, whether this is done by laparoscope (keyhole) surgery or open surgery. Procedures include Dilation and Curettage (D&C), Endometrial Ablation, Cervical (Cone) Biopsy, Colposcopy and Hysterectomy. It also includes fitting of contraceptive coils.

Cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic surgery can take place on most parts of the body. Some of the more popular ones include breast enhancement or reduction, face and neck lifts, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks and eyelid surgery. If you have been injured, develop post-surgery complications - such as infection - or your cosmetic surgeon did not perform the procedure as agreed, you may have a claim for compensation.

Problems with anaesthetic

This is very rare but, occasionally, patients on the operating table will find themselves awake and aware of everything going on around them despite being given anaesthetic. In some cases, they are also paralysed due to also being given muscle relaxant drugs and so are unable to let the surgeon know that they are awake. It usually happens because of the anaesthetist’s inadequate technique, insufficient monitoring or problems with equipment.

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Our Latest Injury in surgery Case Studies

Dental Surgery

Nerve, bone and muscle damage during root canal treatment Professor Hunter’s dentist treated her problematic premolar with an inlay in 2007. Over the next two years, it had to be replaced two or three times until July 2009, when the dentist informed her that she required root canal treatment. During the treatment, the drill went…

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Perforation of common bile duct during ureteric stenting – £90,000

Mrs Carter underwent chemotherapy for a tumour on the wall of her bladder in 2004,followed by a cystectomy and surgical formation of an ileal conduit by a Consultant Urological Surgeon. Four and a half years later, she was experiencing recurrent urinary tract infections and her GP referred her back to see the consultant. He recommended…

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Injuries during gallbladder removal surgery – £90,000

Mrs Brentford had keyhole surgery in the Spring of 2008 to remove her gallbladder because of gallstones. During the surgery, a section of her common bile duct and hepatic bile duct were removed by mistake and a clip was placed across her right hepatic artery. She required biliary reconstruction surgery to repair the damage.

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Our Latest News

Monday 21 January 2019

Over 25 years of specialist medical negligence expertise – the difference it makes to your claim

In 1993, the late Roger Wicks and Gillian Gadsby set up Gadsby Wicks Solicitors in Chelmsford, Essex. Their aim was to provide specialist legal advice to patients who had been injured in the course of their medical treatment, to help them make a claim for financial compensation. 25 years on, Gillian Gadsby – Managing Partner…

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