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Wrong Site Hernia Surgery

If you have suffered from wrong site surgery during a hernia repair, you could be the victim of a substandard level of medical care. That is why you need to contact a solicitor about making a medical negligence claim.

What is a hernia?

A hernia is when an internal body part (such as an organ) pushes through a weakness in the muscle or tissue wall. This causes a protrusion which can be felt upon examination and can sometimes be seen with the naked eye. This can occur in any part of the body, although it is most common for a hernia to develop in the lower abdomen and groin this is known as an inguinal hernia and will affect around 70,000 people in the UK every year.

When someone suffers a hernia, there may not be any symptoms whatsoever. However, often it will cause pain and discomfort that gets worse upon coughing, bending, lifting or straining. If so, a patient may want to consider having hernia surgery as this is the only way to permanently fix the problem.

What does hernia surgery involve?

Surgery will not be necessary for every person who has a hernia, particularly if there are no associated symptoms. It will however be appropriate for hernias that are:-

  • Growing;
  • Painful;
  • Cannot be reduced in any other way;
  • Causing an obstruction;
  • Strangulated (where the blood is prevented from reaching the herniated tissue).

If a hernia does require surgery, it can either be repaired by way of open surgery or keyhole surgery (called laparoscopic surgery). The right option for you will depend upon your individual situation and will be determined by your surgeon. Either way, the operation will involve pushing the protruding internal body part back into position. Stitches are then used to strengthen the weak spot, thereby preventing the hernia pushing through the muscle or tissue wall once again.

How does wrong site hernia surgery happen?

Before surgery, a patient should be marked with a pen to indicate where the hernia is located. This is because it is not always obvious where the problem area is, so a surgeon will need some guidance as to where the hernia is. Healthcare professionals should take care to mark the right spot, consulting a patient's medical records before they do so.

However, occasionally these very simple steps are not taken. Although it may seem unlikely, we have acted for people who have either not be marked at all, or have been marked in the wrong place for example, on the left hand side rather than the right. Consequently they have undergone surgery, only to come round from the anaesthetic to discover their hernia is still there. They must also endure the pain, suffering and scarring of an unnecessary operation.

Does wrong site surgery amount to negligence?

Wrong site surgery is considered a never event, meaning it should not happen if the necessary precautions are taken. Therefore if the surgical team fails to carry out these preventative measure and wrong site hernia surgery does happen, it will amount to medical negligence.

If this has happened to you or a loved one, you need to contact a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible, as you could be entitled to claim compensation.

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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