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Gynaecological problems can range from heavy and painful periods to infertility and hormonal problems. Issues affecting the female reproductive system are investigated and treated by gynaecologists, who will also perform surgeries or other procedures to this part of the body.
There are numerous reasons why gynaecological surgeries may be undertaken, including:
Cutting, tying or blocking the fallopian tubes for contraception
Treating heavy menstrual bleeding
Removing ovarian cysts
Performing a hysterectomy
Removing growths from the cervix
Undertaking a cystoscopy
Removing cancerous growths
In addition, because the reproductive organs are internal and many common symptoms of these conditions are non-specific, a medical professional may perform a laparoscopy (involving inserting a camera through the belly button) to help with diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment may involve medication over time or surgery.
Like any other surgery, gynaecological procedures carry risks. While the vast majority of operations are performed to an acceptable standard and resolve a patient’s problems, mistakes can happen and lead to injuries, pain and distress.
Avoidable injuries that can be sustained during gynaecological surgery as a result of negligence include:
Whether during laparoscopic, abdominal or vaginal surgery, mistakes can occur during any procedure on the female reproductive system and lead to preventable injuries.
A gynaecologist may accidentally injure a structure by failing to move it out of the way or by inadequately protecting it from heat during a procedure. Often, these mistakes are noticed and corrected immediately, preventing any significant damage. When these mistakes go unnoticed, this can lead to the patient later becoming very ill and requiring further surgery to repair the damage.
Gynaecological claims made up 7% of total claims reported in 2019/20.
The longer medical mistakes are left undiagnosed and untreated, the greater the risk that the patient’s condition worsens. While post-surgical monitoring can often spot signs of illness, failure to diagnose an issue caused during surgery may cause distress and damage.
For example, if an injury to the bowel was not noticed during laparoscopic surgery, this could cause a patient to become unwell and develop a level of faecal incontinence, peritonitis or even septicemia. This may then necessitate a follow-up gynaecological treatment or treatment from other specialities, in addition to having long-term repercussions on the patient’s wellbeing.
If an individual sustained an injury due to medical negligence during a gynaecological operation, this could result in long-term and potentially life-changing consequences. At a minimum, further procedures will likely be required to correct the damage, resulting in additional pain, loss of earnings due to time off work, and potentially the need for short-term care and equipment.
However, the ramifications of negligent gynaecological surgery can alter someone’s life long past the initial procedure:
As well as the physical trauma that can be caused by substandard treatment, gynaecological negligence can have an impact on a person’s mental wellbeing. An individual may suffer from psychological problems as a result of the pain and suffering they endure, while the ongoing consequences may leave them feeling too embarrassed to go out or that they have become a burden on their family and friends.
As qualified and specialised medical negligence solicitors with over 20 years experience, we are experts at handling gynaecological claim cases.
Our credentials and established reputation mean that hospitals and trusts are willing to work with us, and often recommend us, to seek fair outcomes for claimants to receive the compensation they deserve.
Trust us with your compensation claim and contact us today to see how we can help you.
Some mistakes will not have grounds for compensation claims as they may have been impossible to prevent.
For example, operating on a patient who has undergone previous abdominal or gynaecological treatments in the past is likely to have resulted in the position of certain landmarks within the pelvis moving. In this instance, damage during a procedure may be considered more excusable.
However, if a gynaecologist causes damage to someone who has never undergone surgical treatment in the past, their anatomy is likely to be standard. As a result, the practitioner’s actions would be harder to justify.
To determine whether the injury you received during your gynaecological surgery was due to medical negligence, you must prove three key elements:
A healthcare professional breached their duty of care toward you
You suffered pain, injury, loss or damage
Your suffering was a direct result of the professional’s breach of duty
As medical negligence claims experts, we will investigate all available evidence such as medical records, photographs and personal statements to establish what happened and assess the standard of treatment you received.
Our solicitors will also speak to relevant and impartial medical professionals to determine whether the actions or inactions a medical professional took during your procedure were reasonable.
If we are able to determine whether the treatment you received fell below a reasonable standard and you suffered as a result of gynaecological negligence, we will work with you to pursue the medical negligence compensation you deserve.
As well as the immediate consequences of surgical mistakes, there is a possibility that these errors can affect your fertility and overall quality of life. Although a compensation claim for surgical errors cannot undo what has happened to you, the financial support from a successful medical negligence claim can:
Recoup any loss of earnings
Pay the wages of carers, helpers or other forms of assistance
Fund future medical procedures
Finance physical or psychological therapies
Pay for adaptations to vehicles
Fund assistive equipment for the home
Our medical negligence team can help you get the recompense and justice you deserve. To learn if you have a compensation claim, use our online claims tool.
Every medical negligence case is unique, and the time it takes to reach a settlement can vary greatly.
In our experience, we would expect a gynaecological surgery claim to take between 2 and 5 years to conclude. However, there are several variables that can affect the timeline of your case:
The stance of the defendant
The availability of medical experts
The complexity of the case
Because the time to resolution can vary greatly between cases, you may be able to apply for interim payments if the defendant admits liability before settlement, or there is a high probability that the defendant will be found liable.
Much like other medical negligence compensation claims, you have three years from the injury or from your date of knowledge to make a claim. However, there are exceptions to this:
People under the age of 18 have until their 21st birthday to make a claim
There is no time limit for people who are mentally incapacitated
In the unfortunate case that a claimant dies either before or during the course of their claim, the three-year time limit begins from the date of their death, so long as the original time limit for bringing a claim had not expired by then.
If you believe that the three-year time limit may have expired in your clinical negligence case, please still get in touch with us. Each claim is at the discretion of the Court, and we have the experience and expertise to advise you on whether your claim may still be viable.
When you place your trust in the hands of a medical professional, you are entitled to a certain standard of care. When that standard is not met, we understand how devastating this can be for you physically, mentally and financially.
At Gadsby Wicks, we specialise in clinical negligence law and have the expertise to guide you through the claims process from start to finish. Our legal advice is built on decades of experience and countless successful claims against hospitals, healthcare professionals and NHS trusts.
We can fund your claim on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis, meaning you only pay your legal fees if your claim is successful
Our in-house medical negligence experts will assist with your case and are able to build a strong foundation for proceedings
We have been specialist medical negligence solicitors since 1993 – during this time, 96% of our cases have been settled outside of the courtroom
Our medical negligence teams are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
To help you reach the best outcome possible for your clinical negligence case, we will work with you every step of the way to establish what happened, and pursue the compensation and justice you rightly deserve.
If you believe you have a claim, it costs nothing to enquire. Complete our online form or get in touch with our team to discuss your situation further. We will only ever take on your claim if we believe we can win it.
If you or a loved one have experienced a gynaecological surgery issue and would like to speak to someone about your options, our team is here to listen and advise you on your next steps.