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Female sterilisation procedures are responsible for the highest number of solicitors compensation claims for medical negligence amongst all other medical procedures. Litigation carried out by solicitors is usually the result of an unwanted pregnancy, surgical injury due to failing to follow laparoscopy protocols or as a result of lack of consent.

Laparoscopy Keyhole Or Open Surgery

Invasive open surgery techniques for female sterilisation have now been replaced mainly by the relatively non-invasive technique of laparoscopy otherwise known as keyhole surgery. Sterilisation by keyhole surgery does have a much higher failure rate than sterilisation carried out using open surgery techniques. Diathermy coagulation technique is often used in conjunction with laparoscopy wherein direct heat is applied to the fallopian tubes to cut and seal them however this technique does have a relatively high rate of failure compared to other procedures particularly those involving clips.

Limitation Act 1980

There are time limits to making a solicitors claim for medical negligence. Generally a medical negligence claim must be made within three years of the negligent act however in failed sterilisation cases the time does not generally start running until the negligence is discovered which may be many years after the surgery.

Female Sterilisation 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 small percentages do go wrong, laying the grounds for 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 claims. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. Please contact our female sterilisation solicitors for help pursuing your claim.

Sterilisation Failure Information

In its basic form, there are two types of surgical sterilization. There is female sterilization, also called a tubal ligation. There is also male sterilization, known as a vasectomy. Both types of sterilization are effective in preventing pregnancy in a couple but both have their risks and benefits. Both types of sterilization can fail, tubal ligation having the highest failure rate.

In a tubal ligation, the surgeon can do it at the same time as a caesarean section or in a separate procedure involving a small incision at the umbilicus. Air may be pumped into the belly to better see the tubes and an endoscope is used to see the fallopian tubes up close and to manipulate the tubes. The tubes are separately localized by the endoscopic camera. A section of the tube is isolated and clamped in two places. The tube is tied off in two places and a small section of the tube is removed and looked at under the microscope to make sure actual fallopian tube was cut. Some doctors burn the edges of the tube to make it unlikely that the tube will reconnect.

Even if all things go as planned, a fallopian tube can reconnect at some time in the future. Tubal ligations can fail. The failure rate of a tubal ligation is about 1 out of every 200. Even so, it is important to ask your doctor to provide for the microscopist a sample of what was cut and tied. If it isn't the fallopian tube found under the microscope, you are not protected from pregnancy and need to have another procedure to correct the mistake in the previous tubal ligation. The pathology report for the tubal ligation won't be returned for about three days so you will already be recovering from the first procedure. After you completely recover from that, you will need the additional procedure.

There are risks in having a tubal ligation. Bleeding complications are always possible. There can be damage to the bowel or urinary tract that necessitates further surgery to correct the damage. Infection in any surgery is always possible, including peritonitis and sepsis, which can be severe. You can have anaesthetic risks such as allergy to medications given as part of anaesthesia. You can have heart problems while under aesthetics or breathing problems, including pneumonia as a result of the anaesthesia intubation. There is a greater risk for tubal pregnancies if the tube partially or incompletely heals itself.

A male sterilization is called a vasectomy. It is usually done as an outpatient procedure in a doctor's office or surgery centre. A cut is made on each side of the groin just above the scrotum after a local aesthetic numbs up the area around the scrotum. The surgeon then pulls out a bundle that contains some nerves, blood vessels and the vas deferens. The vas deferens is isolated from the rest of the bundle and a small section is cut out. Clips or sutures will be used to tie off the vas deferens and the same procedure is repeated on the other side. Small stitches are placed in the incision lines, which are about 1 centimetre or less in diameter. The doctor will have the sections of vas deferens studied under the microscope so as to make sure it is the vas deferens that was ligated and removed.

Risks of a vasectomy include bleeding complications, damage to the nerve supplying the testicles and scrotum or infection as a result of an unclean surgery. Antibiotics and local heat can be used to treat the infection, which is usually minor.

A vasectomy is not generally considered successful immediately after the procedure. It will take between 15 and 20 ejaculations in order to clear the vas deferens of active sperm. You can get a woman pregnant before the vas deferens is clear and you need two negative specimens of ejaculate to be declared sterile by means of vasectomy. The failure rate of the vasectomy is low. The failure rate of a vasectomy is about 1 in 2000 cases.



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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