£45,000 recovered for rectal injury during surgery

Our client, a 50 year old woman from near Ashford, Kent, underwent gynaecological surgery to repair prolapses to the anterior wall and posterior wall of the vagina, as well as to address uterine descent under the care of gynaecologist Mr Connell at Maidstone Hospital on 06.02.15.

On the following morning, our client reported significant pain and bleeding. Upon examination, it was identified that there was a stitch across the rectum. This was further examined by a colorectal surgeon, and our client was told she needed another operation.

Had a very basic check of the rectum been made at the end of the operation – as is standard surgical practice – this injury would have been identified.

At operation on 07.02.15 the stitch across the rectum was removed but a 10mm hole in the rectum was discovered. This required further surgery on 08.02.15 to repair the hole and to perform a temporary stoma to allow the rectum to heal.

The stoma was later reversed on 27.05.15, at which time a parastomal hernia was also repaired. Subsequently, our client developed a further hernia at the stoma site, and this was repaired with a surgical mesh on 31.08.16.

Our client has been left with a mildly altered bowel habit, and she has some restriction in activities due to the risk of further hernia (although her work was only temporarily affected, and as she suffered from pre-existing fibromyalgia her pre-operative activities of daily living were already limited to some extent in any event).

Expert evidence confirmed that the bowel injury arose from negligent surgical technique.

We submitted a full Letter of Claim to which the Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust provided a Letter of Response which admitted liability for the bowel injury. Upon the Defendant making an offer to settle for £45,000, the claim was settled.

Alex Tengroth, who had conduct of this case, said “this was an interesting case, involving a number of complications arising from one operation, some of which were deemed to be due to negligence and some to be the unfortunate outcome of recognised complications. However, even so, the fact that a standard gynaecological operation performed by a consultant surgeon resulted in so many errors / complications / injuries is alarming.”

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