Gynaecology Surgery Negligence Solicitors - Injury Compensation Claim Lawyers
Gynaecological surgery involves laparoscopic surgery, open abdominal surgery or intra-vaginal surgery. There can also be surgery to the vulva or to the recto-vaginal septum. Each type of surgery has its advantages and its disadvantages. Each type of surgery carries its own risks and involves its own specific techniques. Failure of surgery may result in a gynaecology negligence solicitor taking legal action for financial compensation.
Gynaecology Surgery Negligence Solicitors
Our gynaecology surgery negligence solicitors deal with personal injury compensation claims arising from medical negligence by a healthcare practitioner. To speak to a gynaecology surgery medical negligence solicitor just email our lawyers offices or complete the contact form or call our solicitors helpline. Our medical negligence solicitors offer advice at no cost with no further obligation.
Gynaecological surgery can include the following procedures: -
- dilatation and curettage
- anterior repair and/or posterior repair
- fallopian tube surgery - sterilization or repair of sterilization procedure (tubal ligation)
- ovarian surgery - ovariectomy or removal of endometriosis tumors
The procedure most commonly done is a hysterectomy. It can be done in an open procedure or through the vagina. When it is done through the vagina, it is called a vaginal hysterectomy. An open procedure is called an abdominal hysterectomy. Abdominal hysterectomies are done primarily for cancer of the reproductive tract or for endometriosis. The surgery is done through a vertical or horizontal incision in the skin. The abdomen is opened and the uterus and/or ovaries are isolated. The uterus may be removed alone or may be removed along with the fallopian tubes and ovaries. The muscular tissue and skin is closed and the vagina is closed off from the inside.
In a vaginal hysterectomy, there is no abdominal incision. The uterus is removed through the vagina and the cuff of the vagina is closed off, usually leaving behind the ovaries and fallopian tube.
There are risks associated with both the vaginal and abdominal hysterectomy. Infection can ensue and there can be damage to surrounding structures, especially the ureters and the bladder, which is thin-walled and difficult to isolate. There can be severe bleeding from arterial sources as well.
A dilatation and curettage is a procedure often done for heavy vaginal bleeding or from suspected uterine polyps or uterine cancer. The cervix is opened using devices that gradually open the cervix. A curette is used to scrape the uterine lining from the deeper layers of the uterus which usually stops the bleeding. Side effects include inadvertent sterilization due to infection of the uterus and tubes. There can be scraping of the uterus that is too heavy resulting in the entire endometrial tissue removed so that there could be no implantation if there was a pregnancy. Fortunately, these are uncommon occurrences and usually the procedure is successful.
Anterior or posterior repair are procedures done when there is a very thin wall and sagging of the vaginal tissue into the vagina. It can be due to birth trauma causing damage to the walls of the vagina. The procedure goes up into the vagina and cuts out a section of vagina. The cut ends are then sutured back together and includes tightening up the musculature in the area. The end result is a tighter vagina that does not sag or cause problems voiding or having a bowel movement. The risks of this procedure are infection, particularly with a posterior repair that goes into the rectum. There can be damage to the urethra or to the bladder in an anterior repair. This results in the need for more surgery or for the use of a bladder catheter to drain the bladder until the damage to the bladder repairs itself.
A tubal ligation is another gynaecological procedure that is done when a person needs a permanent sterilization. For this procedure especially, it is necessary to have proper consent. The patient needs to know that the procedure is permanent but that there is a small but finite chance that the procedure will not work and a pregnancy will ensue. Defective consents are legal issues a gynaecologist doesn’t need to get into and such consents should include the success rate, the permanency of the issue, the infection and bleeding possibilities. Most tubal ligations are done either at the time of a cesarean section or when a woman doesn’t want to have further children. It is done using a laparoscope if the procedure is not part of a caesarean section. Small incisions are made in the abdomen and the fallopian tubes are isolated. A portion of the fallopian tube is usually removed to prove that the procedure was successful and the cut ends are tied, burned or clipped. There are usually no complications of a laparoscopic tubal ligation but there can be injury to the abdominal wall or to structures near the fallopian tubes.
Ovarian surgery can be done if there is endometriosis on the ovaries. An ovary can be removed due to cancer of the ovaries or to multiple painful cysts on the ovary. In such cases, it is important not to do an unnecessary operation. It is unnecessary to remove the entire ovary if there is just a spot of endometriosis on the ovary. It may be unnecessary to remove the ovaries if there are cysts on the ovary because just the cysts themselves can be drained, leaving behind healthy ovaries. In treating endometriosis, it is easy to do damage to the bowels, which are often involved with endometriomas.
Treating endometriosis can be difficult because there can be bloody endometriomas on the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, abdominal wall and on the bowels. These need to be burned off carefully so as not to do damage to the underlying tissue. Because the endometriomas are very vascular, there can be bleeding during the surgery and there can be undetected internal bleeding after the surgery is over with. Continued pain and a dropping hemoglobin indicates bleeding inside the pelvis or abdomen.
One problem in gynaecological surgery is failure to quickly diagnose a pregnancy. A pregnancy can be deeply affected by gynaecological surgery and there could be a pregnancy loss if the surgery is done on the uterus or if there are anaesthetic complications. The gynaecologist needs to do a pregnancy test on all preoperative patients to make sure the woman isn’t pregnant at the time of surgery. It is also important that, when doing, GYN surgery, to count and remove all swabs and rags used in the surgery so there isn’t a retained pelvic swab that could cause prolonged postoperative pain and the possibility of infection.
Most women’s health concerns relate to diseases of the reproductive tract, such as cancer, infectious
diseases, fertility issues, matters related to pregnancy and contraceptive issues. Many of these things can be
managed by a general gynaecologist; however, there are speciality areas within gynaecology, including oncological
gynaecology, which relates to cancers of the reproductive tract and fertility specialities, that rate directly to
the subject of being unable to get pregnant.
Gynaecologists perform a generalist role and see healthy women for their Pap tests and breast exams. They also
take on a speciality role, in which they are consulted by primary care physicians on complex issues of
gynaecological medicine. Gynaecologists must have a medical doctorate and undergo at least 4 years of medical
residency in their speciality.
The gynaecologist performs a focused history and physical examination. The history involves asking about the
menarche, which is when the periods first started. The doctor asks about what the periods are like: what the flow
is like, whether or not there are blood clots and how far apart the menstrual periods are. The doctor also asks
about whether or not there is pain associated with the menstrual periods. The fertility status is asked about,
including whether or not there have been pregnancy failures and infertility issues. The number of healthy children
is asked about. Finally, questions are asked about vaginal discharge or previous vaginal or reproductive
infections or illnesses.
The gynaecologist internally examines the uterus and the ovaries. This is done using a bi-manual examination. A
speculum is inserted into the vagina and the vagina and cervix is visualized. Often a Pap test is performed on the
cervix. Cells taken from the cervix are examined for cancerous or precancerous changes. Finally, a recto-vaginal
examination is done to evaluate the back of the uterus and vagina.
The most common test used in gynaecology is the lower abdominal ultrasound. It easily visualizes the uterus,
anything within the uterus, anything in the post-uterine space and the ovaries and tubes. In a trans-vaginal
ultrasound, a probe is inserted in the vagina and the uterus and cervix, including the cervical length, can be
easily identified. Trans-vaginal ultrasounds are often done in early pregnancy to see the status of the foetus.
The gynaecologist deals with many diseases of the female reproductive tract. It can include urinary incontinence
issues, which often are related to the uterus. Cancerous conditions of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, vulva,
vagina, cervix and uterus are treated and managed. A lack of menstrual periods, called amenorrhoea is a condition
treated by gynaecologists. Pain from the menstrual periods, called dysmennorrhea, is treated by gynaecologists.
Infertility, heavy menstrual periods, uterine prolapse and infections of the vaginal system and uterus are
discovered and managed by gynaecologists.
Gynaecologists are also surgeons who deal with issues related to the reproductive system. Surgery may be related
to reproductive and non-reproductive reasons. Caesarean sections are common gynaecological procedures in which the
foetus is removed from the uterus using a low abdominal incision. Hysterectomies are performed for a number of
reasons, including uterine prolapse, cancer, and heavy vaginal bleeding. Ovaries are removed for poly-cystic
disease, endometriosis, or cancer of the ovaries. Tubal ligations are done when a woman doesn’t want to have
further children. Laparoscopy is performed when gynaecologists want to look directly at the ovaries and uterus. A
dilatation and curettage is performed for heavy vaginal bleeding or to complete a spontaneous miscarriage.
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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