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Surgery Negligence

Wrong-Site Surgery During A Hernia Operation

Diagnosed with an inguinal hernia on his left side, Chris was shocked when he realised that surgery had incorrectly been carried out on the opposite side.

An inguinal hernia sees part of the small intestine bulge through the lower abdominal muscles, causing a protrusion in the groin area. The swelling in Chris's groin had been increasing in size for several years and was becoming more and more painful.

His GP referred him to a clinic where he was assessed by a medical student. It was noted there was a sausage shaped swelling in the groin region on the left side, and nothing on the right side. Chris was then advised he would need a laparoscopic repair as means of treatment, which was scheduled for the next month.

Chris duly attended the Day Surgery Unit for his operation. The paperwork completed by the Surgical Nurse Practitioner identified the diagnosis as a left inguinal hernia, with the proposed surgical procedure being a laparoscopic left inguinal hernia repair. Chris signed a consent form confirming these details were correct, as did the operating surgeon. An arrow mark was made on the left side of Chris's groin where the surgery was to be performed. The operation was then carried out under general anaesthetic, and Chris was later discharged the same day.

The following day, however, Chris contacted the Day Surgery Unit concerned that he had pain on the right side, rather than the left. Upon looking at the operation notes, staff became aware that the surgeon had actually made a right indirect inguinal hernia repair. Chris was told to attend the Day Surgery Unit immediately for an examination, where it was confirmed surgery had in fact been carried out on the right side, as opposed to the left. Due this error, Chris had to return one week later for another operation which successfully removed the left side hernia.

As a result of the wrong-site surgery, Chris had to undergo an unnecessary operation to his right side, causing increased pain and discomfort. He also suffered with a haematoma to the right side of his scrotum caused by the surgery to the right side, and still has discomfort when his bladder is full. He was unable to work for a period of two months, and required assistance with personal care and domestic duties.

Furthermore, Chris had been accepted by the British Army, and was waiting to do his basic training. Because of the physical stress of having two hernia operations, Chris was unable to do this training, meaning he was not able to join the Army at all.

Chris felt unhappy with the treatment he received and contacted Glynns to see if he had a medical negligence claim. We instructed an expert to prepare a report which verified our belief that Chris was the victim of wrong-site surgery. We helped Chris file a claim, which was settled for over £5,000.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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Testimonials

"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

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