Hysterectomy - Medical Negligence Solicitors - Compensation Claims


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A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus which may or may not include the surgical removal of the woman’s tubes and ovaries as well. This procedure is done for many reasons including having heavy vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain from uterine sources, uterine prolapse, uterine fibroids and cancer of the uterus or ovaries.

There are three kinds of hysterectomies. They include the following:

  • Vaginal hysterectomy. The uterus, ovaries and tubes can be removed through an incision in the vagina. There is no external, visible lesion and the sutures to close the vaginal incision are absorbable. This is the preferred method for removing the uterus.
  • Total abdominal hysterectomy. This is performed for things like cancer of the uterus or when the doctor needs to take a careful look at the ovaries or surrounding tissue, such as looking for metastatic disease. There is a bikini-cut incision in most cases for this procedure. The recovery time is longer than for vaginal hysterectomy.
  • Laparoscopic hysterectomy. This involves making several small lower abdominal incisions, one of which has a lighted camera inserted into it. The surgeon uses small tools to remove the uterus, sometimes in pieces if it is very large. The tubes and ovaries can be removed at the same time.

These procedures are not without their risks. A vaginal hysterectomy involves using instruments very near the bladder. The bladder can be punctured by a scalpel, leading to a leaking bladder or to a bladder to vaginal fistula, in which there is chronic leakage of urine into the vagina. This will involve a secondary surgery. A fistula can occur between the pelvic space and the vagina if the sutures do not heal properly. There can be bleeding associated with being unable to completely see the field in a vaginal hysterectomy. Infection is also a possibility, which can require a prolonged hospital stay and antibiotics.

A total abdominal hysterectomy is considered a major procedure with inherent risks of infection, bleeding and cutting the wrong part of the body. The area is well exposed with the large incision so disruption of the bladder is less likely to be a problem; however, the surgical incision is rather large so that infection of the skin around the incision is more likely than with the other types of hysterectomies.

A laparoscopic hysterectomy has its own set of risks. Because the visual field is limited by the light and the camera, areas in the pelvis can be lacerated by the scalpel and the bladder can be punctured or lacerated in getting the bladder off the uterus at the time of surgery. This can lead to abdominal leakage of urine that may not be picked up until after the patient has been surgically closed. There is always a risk of a second surgery in such cases. A laparoscopic hysterectomy also carries the risk of infection and bleeding, especially because the visual field is so narrow.

So which procedure is the safest? It depends on what the doctor is most comfortable with and what the surgery is designed to do. You may have cancer of the ovaries or uterus and need to have an open surgery so the doctors can get inside and have a careful look around to see if there is nearby cancer in the lymph nodes. If you have a vaginal or laparoscopic surgery for cancer, the doctor is more likely to miss localized and metastatic disease and you will suffer secondary complications.

On the other hand, if you have a simple uterine problem, there is no need to have an abdominal hysterectomy because this could lead to unnecessary pain and unnecessary risk of abdominal or incisional infections and bleeding.

Hysterectomy Negligence Solicitors

For honest and independent legal advice contact our legal professionals today. If you have suffered personal injury and you fear you may have been the victim of incompetence there is no time for delay. In order to know your options you should seek expert legal advice as soon as possible. Our hysterectomy negligence solicitors operate a no charge service whereby you can meet us in person or chat over the telephone with one of our experts and obtain initial advice. If you subsequently decide to proceed no further then that is your right and you will not be charged for our initial advice.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here