Surgical errors can occur during elective or emergency surgery, performed by laparoscopic or open technique, and at the hands of a junior surgeon or a consultant. They can occur even with the best treatment, as there are a number of recognised complications associated with any type of surgery. However, many surgical errors are avoidable.
Typical cases that arise include:-
- Failing to properly investigate symptoms resulting in an incorrect or unnecessary operation.
- Failing to obtain adequate consent for an operation – such as not properly explaining the risks of the operation, or carrying out additional / different procedures during the operation.
- Failing to adequately diagnose a rupturing / ruptured appendix, resulting in a delay in surgery and the development of peritonitis.
- Surgery performed by a junior / inadequately qualified surgeon.
- Injuries caused to abdominal organs during laparoscopic surgery generally – such as upon insertion of the laparoscopes, or due to inadequate laparoscopic training or knowledge of the anatomy.
- Injuries caused during cholecystectomy – such as damage to the common bile duct / other ducts or arteries.
- Injuries caused during hernia surgery – such as nerve damage or haematoma.
- Failed vasectomy / failed sterilisation.
- Injuries caused during urological surgery – such as fistula formation, incontinence, and erectile dysfunction.
- Failing to provide adequate pre- and post-operative anticoagulation, resulting in a post-operative DVT or PE.
- Failing to recognise post-operative complications – such as reduced vital signs, DVT, internal bleeding, or wound infection.
Our team has experience of dealing with all manner of surgical errors including cases involving failings that have caused severe disability and ongoing restrictions upon daily life.