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Bowel Injuries During Sterilisation

Bowel Injuries During Sterilisation

If you have sustained a bowel injury during a sterilisation procedure, and this injury was not identified in a prompt fashion, you could be entitled to make a medical negligence compensation claim.

Bowel Injury and Laparoscopic Surgery

Sterilisation is usually performed by way of a laparoscopy. This involves making a small incision to the belly button, through a small flexible tube is inserted. This is called a laparoscope, and has a camera and light attached to the end which relays images onto a screen. Once the surgeon is able to see inside the pelvis, it will be possible for Filshie clips to be attached to each fallopian tube.

Laparoscopy is widely used for gynaecological procedures such as sterilisation, and is considered to be a safe and effective technique. However, as with all surgery, laparoscopic sterilisation does have risks. A woman should be informed of these before she consents to surgery.

One of these risks is bowel injury. Although this is a rare occurrence statistically, it is considered as the most major complication of sterilisation because it must be recognised and repaired at the time of surgery: if there is a failure to do so, the consequences could be fatal.

Bowel Injury and Sterilisation: Is This Medical Negligence?

Around 30% of bowel injuries at laparoscopy happen at the beginning of the procedure during the entry of the Verres needle or trocar. (These are inserted prior to the laparoscope and are used to inflate the abdomen with carbon dioxide). Injury may also be caused if the bowel wall is accidentally grasped by laparoscopic forceps of the Filshie clip applicator.

The injury in itself may not necessarily be deemed negligent: bowel injury is a known risk of sterilisation, and even if good standard technique is used, it is not always possible to avoid it happening. This is especially true of 'at-risk' people such as obese patients. Nevertheless, if a sterilisation procedure is carried out and the surgeon does not demonstrate an acceptable standard of skill, then there may have been an incidence of medical negligence.

Where claims usually arise, however, is if the bowel injury was not identified at the time of the operation. An immediate diagnose will allow the injury to be repaired during the procedure, preventing a woman from going on to suffer additional problems such as bowel perforation, sepsis, peritonitis and pulmonary embolism. These are serious complications and in some circumstances can even be fatal. Therefore a bowel injury sustained during sterilisation must be diagnosed as soon as possible: if there is delay, a patient will have received a substandard level of care.

Can You Make a Claim?

If you have been the victim of an unacceptable level of medical care, you could be entitled to make claim compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured. To find out more, you should speak to a medical negligence solicitor about the treatment you received.

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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