Prolapse Surgery Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by prolapse surgery, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, midwife or other medical professional, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove the negligence happened. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make a medical negligence claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
A pelvic organ prolapse can be a caused by childbirth, previous pelvic surgery or, rarely, through extreme exertion such as heavy lifting at work. The condition is not life-threatening, but it can affect an individual's quality of life.
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when one or more of the pelvic organs prolapses, or bulges, into the vaginal wall. These organs include the uterus, bladder and bowel.
Do I have an injury claim?
Medical negligence claims differ from personal injury claims as the following will need to be established:
- there was a breach of duty ("negligence" or "fault"); and
- the breach of duty was the cause of your injury, damage or loss ("causation" or "avoidable harm").
Breach of Duty
A breach of duty means that the standard of care you received was below the standard that could reasonably be expected of a competent healthcare professional.
To establish causation, it will need to be demonstrated that the injury you suffered resulted from the negligent care rather than the underlying condition.
Get an impartial opinion
To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to an injury claim expert on 0800 376 1001.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
Is compensation always payable?
If an error occurred during treatment and the patient was harmed as a result, this may be referred to as an "undesirable outcome".
Not all treatment that results in an undesirable outcome will result in the payment of compensation.
Sometimes an undesirable outcome is due to a known risk associated with the treatment, or due to a mistake that a doctor could reasonably have made in the circumstances.
What if the other party denies liability?
If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your prolapse surgery. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.
How long do I have to start a claim?
If your injury is apparent immediately after medical treatment, you will have 3 years to start a claim.
It may be that the negligent procedure happened more than 3 years ago, but your injury was only diagnosed recently, within the last 3 years. If so, you may still be able to make a claim.
What if your injury was diagnosed months or years after treatment?
You may not be immediately aware of your injury. In some cases, months and even years can pass before symptoms appear.
The law allows you to make a medical negligence claim up to three years after the 'date of knowledge' (when you first learned of the injury).
It is recommended that you start a claim as soon as possible, as medical negligence cases can be complex. Starting your claim sooner will give your solicitor more time to gather medical evidence, assess the extent of your injury and to negotiate interim payments and your final compensation amount.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Can I claim for physiotherapy and private care costs?
Private treatment can be expensive, but funding towards the cost of this treatment frequently comprises part of a compensation award. Your solicitor may even be able to arrange access to private medical care as soon as your claim is accepted.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:
- Instant accurate calculation
- Checks your right to claim
- Confirms No Win, No Fee eligibility
How long does a prolapse surgery claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation for prolapse surgery can vary considerably.
A straightforward liability accepted medical negligence claim can settle in 12 to 24 months. If the cases is particularly complex, it could take longer. Usually, a medical negligence claim should take 12 to 36 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, read more:
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Reasons for surgery
Surgery is typically offered if it is felt that the possible benefits outweigh the risks. Around 1 in 10 women will have surgery for a pelvic organ prolapse at some point in her life.
The most common type of surgery involves implanting a mesh device into the vagina to support the pelvic organs. However, some women have reported adverse health reactions after receiving an implant.
Anyone who has suffered complications after receiving prolapse surgery may be eligible make a medical negligence compensation claim.
Types of prolapse surgery
Most surgical treatment options aim to improve the positioning and support of the pelvic organs. Sometimes a synthetic (non-absorbable) or biological (absorbable) mesh is used to support the vaginal tissues and hold the prolapsed organ in place. Around 1,500 mesh implants are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse each year.
Positioning and support of the pelvic organs may also be achieved using a product known as transvaginal tape. Around 13,000 vaginal tape implants are used in the UK each year to treat prolapse and urinary incontinence.
Hysterectomy is a less common surgical option, but if the womb is prolapsed, removing it may deliver a better outcome for the patient.
Surgeons have a duty to recommend the type of treatment that is most suitable for the patient depending on the severity of prolapse, the age and health of the woman and whether she is planning to have children in the future.
Prolapse surgery and surgical mesh injury
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is investigating reports that some women are suffering serious health consequences after receiving mesh and transvaginal tape implants.
Complications that have been reported include:
- Protrusion of the mesh through nearby organs
- Mesh erosion, contraction or shrinkage
- Chronic and persistent pain
- Internal lacerations
- Vaginal discharge and bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Sexual problems
- Urinary incontinence.
Some women may require multiple revision surgeries to correct the problem. In some cases, the prolapse can return causing a significant adverse effect on quality of life.
Making a prolapse surgery claim
As a result of the complications that may arise, it is recommended that pelvic organ prolapse surgery should only be performed by specialist gynaecologists with experience in the surgical treatment of prolapse.
Doctors must also counsel patients before seeking their consent to the operation. Patients are entitled to receive information regarding:
- The risk of possible complications
- The uncertainty of long term results regarding the safety of mesh and tape products
- The chances of success with the use of mesh versus the use of other procedures
- Alternative treatment options.
A patient who is not given such advice and who suffers injury as a result may be eligible to make a compensation claim.
A claim may also be brought if there are errors in the way the surgery is carried out or if proper medical assistance is not given as a priority if things go wrong.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee - the facts
'No win, no fee' means that if your injury claim is unsuccessful, you won't have to pay your solicitor any money. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a legal agreement entered into between you and a solicitor.
No win, no fee promise
If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
What is Legal Aid available for?
In 2000, the government abolished the right to legal aid in medical negligence cases. Depending on an individual's circumstances, Legal Aid may be available for discrimination cases, criminal cases, family mediation and court or tribunal representation.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning medical negligence claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.