£25,000 compensation for error during bowel surgery
In 2013 compensation of £25,000 was awarded to a 69 year-old man for errors during surgery on his bowel necessitating further surgery six years earlier.
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The claimant suffered abdominal pain and consulted his GP. After referral for investigation he underwent a colonoscopy. This confirmed a diagnosis of a polyp in his colon.
He was offered surgery as an option. The surgery involved removing the area of the colon containing the polyp.
A few months later the surgery took place at hospital. It appeared to go without incident and he was allowed to go home.
The claimant continued to suffer with abdominal pains. He developed a hernia, also suffering bowel and prostate problems. He was referred to a urologist who diagnosed him with prostate cancer.
Three years after the initial operation he was asked to attend the hospital again. He was advised there had been an error in his first surgery. The wrong part of his bowel had been removed which meant that the cancerous part was left in place.
A right hemicolectomy had been performed instead of a left side resection of the bowel.
Further surgery was necessary to remove the cancerous growth. He was left with very reduced bowel function and an incisional hernia.
He suffered from abdominal bloating and discomfort. He suffered epigastric pain requiring ongoing pain medication.
It was alleged that the hospital had been negligent insofar as the incorrect surgery was carried out.
Evidence from a consultant oncologist maintained that the open surgery performed had been unnecessary. Less invasive laparoscopic procedure should have been done instead.
The hospital had numerous opportunities to detect the error but failed to do so for three years.
The claimant suffered unnecessary surgery as a result. He was left with severely reduced bowel function permanently.
He would continue to suffer pain and discomfort for the rest of his life.
Conclusion and settlement
Liability was admitted and the claim was settled without proceeding to a Court hearing.
Compensation of £25,000 was accepted by way of an out of Court settlement.
The entire amount was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."
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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.