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More than 50% of all medical negligence compensation claims following surgery relate to gynaecological matters. Hysterectomy negligence is not uncommon. Our hysterectomy negligence solicitors deal with compensation claims using the risk free no win no fee* scheme. You do not have to fund or finance your claim as it proceeds and if your case is lost you pay nothing whatsoever. For free help and advice from a hysterectomy solicitor, without further obligation just call our helpline.

Hysterectomy Negligence Information

In a hysterectomy, the surgeon uses a vertical or horizontal incision in the pelvic area and lower abdomen or performs an intravaginal incision in what is called a "vaginal hysterectomy". It is done for various purposes, including cancer or polyps of the uterus, uterine myomata (muscle tumors of the uterus), heavy vaginal bleeding or uterine prolapse (sagging of the uterus through the vagina). A hysterectomy usually just removes the uterus and leaves intact the fallopian tubes and the ovaries but in circumstances of uterine cancer or if the woman is already postmenopausal, the fallopian tubes and ovaries are often removed with the uterus.

In an abdominal hysterectomy, the surgeon usually has good visualization of the uterus and the rest of the reproductive tract and cuts the fallopian tube, the membrane on either side of the uterus and the arteries and veins leading to the uterus. The bladder wall lies above the lower uterine segment and must be carefully dissected away from the uterus so that the bladder is not inadvertently injured.

Even though there is good visualization of the reproductive tract, there can still be damage to the fallopian tube, bleeding from the uterine arteries and uterine veins and injury to the bladder wall or to the ureters, which pass close to the uterus when traveling from the kidneys to the bladder. If there is excessive bleeding after the surgery has finished, there can be a large hematoma (blood clot) formation in the pelvic area, which hurts and takes often weeks to resolve. There can be anemia from blood loss and the need for blood transfusions. Blood transfusions have risks all their own. Very rarely can a person bleed so excessively as to require a second operation or so much that they go into shock and die from blood loss but it can happen if the doctor is not carefully monitoring the patient.

If there is damage to the urinary tract, urine can spill into the vagina or can spill into the pelvic area. It may not be detected for awhile and can cause a buildup of urine in the pelvic space. The urine can also leak out of the vagina all the time or only during urination. Doctors often do radio-opaque dye studies to see if the urine is leaking into the pelvic space. If a vesico-vaginal fistula is expected because of the surgery, the doctor can use a blue dye and will check to see if the dye passes through the vesicular (bladder) wall and into the vaginal space.

In a vaginal hysterectomy, there is less visualization of the area to be surgically treated so there is a greater risk of damage and leakage of the uterine arteries and uterine veins. Bleeding postoperatively is more common and is treated exactly the same way as an abdominal hysterectomy. Another surgery might be possible in such circumstances and the second surgery might have to be an open surgery through an abdominal incision so the doctor can readily see where the bleeding is coming from and can ligate (tie off) the artery or vein causing the problem. This means an unnecessary abdominal incision.

There can still be urinary tract disruption or puncture in a vaginal hysterectomy. The bladder is very close to the vaginal wall and a slip of the knife or wrong placement of the knife during surgery can result in a vesico-vaginal fistula. A ureter disruption is also a possibility in a vaginal hysterectomy.

In both types of hysterectomies, there is always the possibility of infection. Infection can simply be a wound infection or it can involve the pelvic area and spread to the abdominal area. Infections are best managed with antibiotics, often by IV, to control the organism causing the infection. Rarely, there can be a puncture of the bowel in a hysterectomy, which can cause a severe Gram negative infection of the abdomen, a serious condition.

Hysterectomy Solicitors

Thousands of clinical compensation claims are initiated every year in the United Kingdom by medical negligence solicitors on behalf of people from all walks of life. A multitude of operations and procedures are executed successfully however a small percentage do go wrong, laying the grounds for medical negligence solicitors to take legal action in order to claim compensation. Both legal aid and the no win no fee* scheme are available to pursue medical negligence compensation. Please contact our hysterectomy solicitors for help pursuing your claim.



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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here