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Hysterectomy surgery is a specific type of gynaecological surgery that involves the removal of the uterus. These procedures are carried out to treat numerous issues that affect the reproductive system, such as heavy periods, long-term pain and ovarian cancer.
As hysterectomies remove the uterus, these procedures will prevent the possibility of patients having children in future. Furthermore, if their ovaries are removed as part of the procedure, this can lead to an early and sudden menopause depending on the patient’s age.
Due to these consequences, a hysterectomy should only be considered once other treatments have been explored.
There are several different types of hysterectomy. The specific procedure a patient undergoes can depend on their clinical history, personal preference and any medical recommendations they receive.
A total hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus and cervix and is the most common type of operation
Subtotal hysterectomy leaves the cervix in place while the uterus is surgically removed
A radical hysterectomy removes the uterus and the surrounding structures, including part of the vagina, fallopian tubes, ovaries, lymph glands and fatty tissue
Like any surgical procedure, a hysterectomy is performed to resolve problems and give patients the best possible outcome. In the vast majority of cases, these are performed responsibly and have the desired effect.
Unfortunately, mistakes can and do happen. Although rare, the damage they cause can lead to patients enduring avoidable injuries, pain and distress in both the short and long term.
For instance, in the case of Mrs J, she underwent a hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy to remove her fallopian tubes and ovaries.
There are numerous issues that can arise during surgery. Common hysterectomy complications include:
Development of urinary tract infections
Damage to nerves and blood vessels
Injury to the bowel or bladder
Punctures to the uterine lining
Failure to protect crucial structures
Clamping the wrong vessel
Because hysterectomies result in the loss of fertility, gynaecologists should consider whether alternative treatments could resolve the problems. However, in some cases, gynaecologists have proceeded to recommend hysterectomy without exploring alternatives or properly informing patients of the ramifications of their surgery.
In cases like this, an individual may undergo an unnecessary hysterectomy and needlessly lose their ability to bear children.
Whether a medical professional fails to protect certain structures or clamps the wrong area, there are numerous errors that can occur during laparoscopic, abdominal or vaginal surgery.
Some mistakes will not have grounds for a medical negligence claim, as they may have been impossible to prevent. Other avoidable injuries may lay the foundation for a patient to make a compensation claim.
To determine whether a mistake is deemed clinically negligent, it is important to understand whether the actions or inactions of a gynaecologist were unreasonable given the circumstances of a procedure.
As expert medical negligence solicitors, we will seek the opinion of impartial healthcare professionals, such as gynaecologists, to determine whether your treatment fell below an appropriate standard of care.
We will also assess all available medical records, photographs and personal statements to establish whether clinical negligence was to blame for the outcome of your hysterectomy.
If you are unsure whether you have grounds to make a clinical compensation claim, get in touch with our team. Our claims solicitors can investigate your case and guide you through the next steps.
If surgical mistakes during any type of hysterectomy are not caught and rectified during an operation, follow-up procedures are almost always required.
Depending on the severity, permanence and location of these oversights, hysterectomy complications can result in a variety of short and long-term repercussions for a woman:
The pain and discomfort of a urinary tract infection could limit an individual’s ability to complete daily tasks at home or at work
Accidental injury to the bowel or bladder may lead to a level of incontinence, which can cause embarrassment and reduce someone’s desire to socialise
A punctured uterine lining could cause heavy bleeding and require an individual to stay longer in hospital, resulting in loss of earnings
Damage to femoral nerves during an operation could affect a person’s mobility
If a healthcare professional fails to inform a patient of the repercussions of this type of operation, or fails to explore other less invasive treatments, this may result in someone sadly undergoing a hysterectomy that was not wanted or required.
This can be devastating, especially for someone looking forward to starting or enlarging their family. Knowing that the loss of their fertility was avoidable can have a tremendous toll on an individual’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, and may cause rifts to form within their family or towards friends with children.
As qualified and specialised medical negligence solicitors with over 20 years experience, we are experts at handling hysterectomy surgery 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.
The scope of potential outcomes following negligent or unnecessary hysterectomy complications is vast, and the amount of compensation awarded can vary.
A surgical mistake could result in a longer stay in hospital, some level of incontinence or the need for further procedures. Meanwhile, an operation where the consent process broke down could leave a patient needlessly infertile for the rest of their life.
While claiming for compensation cannot turn back the clock, the financial assistance awarded following a successful hysterectomy compensation claim can help support you in everyday life.
Whether it is used to cover any loss of earnings, future treatments or the cost of ongoing equipment and therapies, the settlement aims to make life following a hysterectomy as straightforward as possible.
We do not put an exact timeline on cases, as each one is often unique and the time it takes to reach final settlement can vary significantly.
In our experience, we would expect most hysterectomy compensation claims to take between 2 and 5 years to reach a resolution. However, the timeline of a case can depend on the stance taken by the defendants, and how long it takes for medical experts to establish an accurate prognosis.
If a defendant admits liability before a final settlement is agreed, or there is a high likelihood that the defendants will be found liable, it is possible to apply for interim payments before a case concludes.
Generally, a hysterectomy negligence claim must be made within three years of the date of knowledge of the injury. There are exceptions to this:
Young people under the age of 18 have until their 21st birthday to file a claim
There is no time limit for anyone who is mentally incapacitated
If a claimant dies, the three-year time limit begins from the date of their death
If your injury occurred more than three years ago, we would still urge you to get in touch. Every claim is at the discretion of the Court, and we have the experience and expertise to advise you on whether your claim is viable.
We understand that the claims process can be difficult to navigate, especially if you or a loved one is living with the repercussions of substandard care.
To help you through this crucial process our expert claims solicitors work with you every step of the way to pursue the answers, justice and compensation you deserve.
Our professional surgical error solicitors have the expertise to comprehensively investigate your case. By carefully examining all available evidence and speaking to relevant medical professionals, we can determine if your care was substandard and quantify the value of your claim.
We have been dedicated to medical negligence claims since 1993
Our team is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
In-house medical professionals will assist with your case
Our expert legal services can be accessed on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis, meaning you only pay your legal fees if your claim is successful. There are also several alternative options to fund your claim.
If you believe the hysterectomy you received failed to meet an acceptable standard or was performed negligently, complete our online form or get in touch with our team. It costs nothing to enquire and discuss your situation with one of our medical negligence solicitors.
If you or a loved one have experienced an issue following hysterectomy surgery and would like to speak to someone about your options, our team is here to listen and advise you on your next steps.