Ureteric injury following hysterectomy

Posted by John White on

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The Claimant underwent a subtotal hysterectomy at the Watford General Hospital in 2000 with conservation of her cervix and ovaries.  Later, on 10 April 2004 she underwent laparoscopic removal of her ovaries. Unfortunately during this procedure the surgeon negligently damaged the Claimant's right ureter.  The damage went unnoticed at the time and the claimant was discharged home later the same day.

The Claimant rested at home and was mobilising by 19 April 2004 when she felt a sudden, sharp pain in her abdomen.  She also suffered nausea and headaches.  She attended her GP, who advised readmission to Watford General Hospital.  She was admitted for two nights then discharged. She returned to her GP in June 2004 who again referred her to Watford General Hospital.  She was re-admitted, but discharged again a day later with a diagnosis of raised blood pressure.

At this point the Claimant sought alternative private medical advice.  A CT scan was performed which revealed right-sided hydronephrosis.  On 30 July 2004 she underwent major surgery to repair and reimplant the right ureter into her bladder.

Unfortunately as a result of the need to reimplant the ureter, the Claimant developed urinary incontinence attributable to an unstable bladder.  She underwent treatment for stress incontinence in October 2007 and anticholinergic therapy both of which failed to resolve her unstable bladder.  She subsequently received Botox therapy to her bladder which produced short-term relief from her incontinence when accompanied by intermittent self-catheterisation.

At the time of the negligence, the Claimant was in employment and after the ureteric injury she was absent from work for long periods of time.  She received full pay until August 2005 when it was decided that she should leave her employment because of her continuing illness.  She suffered an exacerbation of a depressive condition as well as loss of confidence and a phobic disorder which affected her ability to return to work full-time or in the capacity that she was employed prior to the injury.

Prior to consulting solicitors, the Claimant submitted her own complaint to the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust in 2006.  In response, the NHSLA offered to settle the claim for £3,750. The Claimant then consulted BLClaims Solicitors in October 2006. Investigations were undertaken and supportive medical reports obtained.  The Trust admitted liability for the damage to the ureter, but denied that all of the Claimant's symptoms arose as a result of the negligence.
BLClaims Solicitors obtained £240,000 in compensation for the Claimant.

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About the Author

Doctor and Solicitor Advocate John White leads the Clinical Negligence team. His medical background gives him a unique perspective and he has an excellent track record of achieving success for clients.

John White
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