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Laparoscopy (keyhole) surgery compensation claims

If you believe you have experienced medical negligence during your keyhole surgery, our expert solicitors can help you claim compensation. Call our Clinical & Medical Negligence solicitors on 0333 987 4161 for free advice.

What is keyhole surgery?

A laparoscopy is a medical procedure carried out to investigate and confirm the source of pain in the abdomen or pelvis when non-invasive methods such as ultrasound echo techniques, CT or MRI scans are unable to provide a diagnosis. The medical instrument used is known as a laparoscope, an elongated thin tube inserted through a surgical incision in the abdominal wall. The technique enables diagnosis by a direct study.

Healthcare professionals use laparoscopies to diagnose the following:

  • Gynaecological conditions: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Endometriosis, Ectopic pregnancy and Ovarian cysts.
    Fibroids (benign tumours in or around the uterus) and Female Infertility.
  • Urology and undescended testicles (relatively common in childhood).
  • Appendicitis.
  • Unexplained pelvic or gastric pain near the gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, stomach or small intestine.
  • Abdominal visceral pain, especially around the large intestine or colon.

A laparoscopic procedure can also be used to help diagnose certain cancers. This is achieved by taking a tissue sample (or biopsy) which is then sent for laboratory examination.

Laparoscopic diagnoses are possible for liver, pancreatic and ovarian disease as well as cancer of the bile duct and gallbladder.

The surgical technique involves inserting a miniature camera to investigate inside the abdominal cavity or to enable keyhole surgery. Surgeons also insert small surgical tools when required, along with a tube to inflate the abdomen with gas to facilitate the operation – especially in bowel laparoscopy.

Keyhole surgery complications

In skilled hands, the minimally invasive technique benefits patients through quicker recovery, shortened hospital stays, reduced pain and less scarring. In the broader sense, the health service also gains from discharging patients earlier so it can treat more individuals.

Minor complications such as feeling sick, bruising and infection typically occur in ten to twenty cases per thousand. However, an average of one case per thousand involves damage to a visceral organ or a blood vessel. Alternatively, a blood clot may develop in a vein (i.e. DVT or deep vein thrombosis) and lead to an air embolism in the lungs. Similarly, carbon dioxide gas bubbles could inadvertently enter veins or arteries and cause a gas embolism.

If an embolism (trapped air in a blood vessel) occurs, further surgery is often necessary. Additionally, post-operative problems could include haematoma or a hernia in the area of the surgical incision.
Ordinarily your surgeon will speak to you about the potential issues and/or risks that can occur during a laparoscopic procedure.

Unfortunately, errors can occur during the procedure. According to reports, the initial insertion of the camera is one of the main problematic factors in around a third to half of cases with complications.

Even though tissue perforation risks are generally well documented, some injuries can be deemed avoidable. Some injuries can occur as a result of potential negligence, which can include and result in damage to the bladder, bowel or other surrounding organs. Many patients will, understandably, consider seeking advice if they feel they have suffered as a result of potential negligence.

Can you make a keyhole surgery compensation claim?

It may be possible to claim compensation for laparoscopy complications. If you feel you have suffered following keyhole surgery and wish to find out more about your options and whether you have a potential claim, we can help. As experienced medical negligence solicitors, we offer clients expert assistance with laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) compensation claims. To discuss your case in confidence, please click here or call our specialist legal advice line on 0333 987 4161.

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