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Haemhorroidectomy and failure to obtain consent

Our Client, Mrs C, was referred by her GP to see the Defendant, a Consultant General Laparoscopic and Colorectal Surgeon. She was suffering with haemorrhoids, however, her main concern was bleeding when she opened her bowels, as a relative had recently been diagnosed with bowel cancer. The Defendant advised the client that she should undergo a haemorrhoidectomy. He advised that it was a routine procedure and she would be back at work within a week. He did not discuss with her any of the other options available and, in particular, non-surgical options such as banding or ligation which could have treated the haemorrhoids.

Therefore, on 11th January 2010, the Claimant underwent the surgery. Postoperatively, she suffered with severe faecal incontinence with urgency and soiling. This had a profound effect upon the Claimant and her ability to work and care for her sick husband.

Davies and Partners instructed an expert on this case who advised that the Defendant had failed to adequately advise the Claimant of the risks and benefits of the procedure or discuss the other options available to her. Further, the operation itself had been performed negligently by overuse of diathermy too close to the sphincter which had damaged the internal sphincter and caused a gutter deformity.

Further evidence was obtained from a care expert commenting upon the impact that this injury had upon the client and her ability to perform ever day activities. A psychiatrist was also instructed who diagnosed an adjustment disorder caused by the injury.

This case was robustly defended by the Defendant. Court proceedings were commenced and the claim only settled a few months before Trial.

The Claimant was awarded £175,000 by the Defendant.