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Failed Sterilisation Because Of Incorrect Surgical Technique

Failed Sterilisation Because Of Incorrect Surgical Technique

Before you consent to a sterilisation, you should be advised that there is a risk the procedure will fail, with the current rate of failure being about one in 200.

However, failure in this sense means that the fallopian tubes either grow back together (known as recanalization) or a fistula forms. Both events are accepted risks of sterilisation and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it from happening. These are unfortunate and non-negligent reasons of sterilisation failure.

Negligent sterilisation failure

There are also negligent ways in which a sterilisation can fail, with one of the most common being incorrect surgical technique.

In a correctly performed sterilisation, small clips are applied to each fallopian tube. These clips are made of titanium and silicon rubber and are designed to be placed completely across the fallopian tube. This will block the passage of the egg from the ovary to the uterus, meaning it cannot be fertilised by sperm.

But unfortunately a surgeon does not always properly attach a clip to the fallopian tube, allowing the channel between the ovary and the uterus to remain open. This means a woman will remain fertile.

Is incorrect surgical technique considered negligent?

If one or both of the fallopian tubes are not properly occluded, the surgeon will have provided a level of care that is below the standard of a reasonably competent gynaecologist. If this leads to the patient falling pregnant, there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim.

If you have undergone a sterilisation and have subsequently conceived, you need to find out why this happened. It may be that your fallopian tubes naturally joined back together, although this usually takes a number of years to occur. So if you fell pregnant shortly after the procedure, it is possible that medical negligence is to blame.

Often incorrect surgical technique can be identified during a second operation be it another sterilisation or a caesarean section. This will allow a surgical team to assess whether or not the clip was properly applied to your fallopian tube. If not, you will be entitled to claim compensation for the pain, suffering and financial loss you have incurred.

Would you like to claim for a failed sterilisation?

If you would like to know more about claiming for a failed sterilisation, do not hesitate to contact a medical negligence solicitor. Such claims must be made within three years of the date you discovered the error, so it is important not to delay when seeking legal advice.

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