Keyhole surgery (Laparoscopy) has become more common over recent years. Although it cannot be used for all surgical procedures, it is often the preferred option if ever there’s a choice between the keyhole or traditional surgery methods. However, although the risks of something going wrong are lower than with traditional surgery, sometimes things can still go wrong. Importantly, if you have been injured due to medical negligence during keyhole surgery, you may be eligible to make a keyhole surgery negligence claim for claim compensation.
If you’re ready to proceed with a keyhole surgery negligence claim right away, please call 0800 6524 881 to get started. Alternatively, please continue on to find out more about the process.
Table of contents
- What Is Keyhole Surgery?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Keyhole Surgery Negligence Claim?
- What Can Go Wrong During Surgical Procedures?
- Injuries That Can Be Caused By Negligent Keyhole Surgery
- How Much Compensation For Keyhole Surgery Negligence Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Keyhole Surgery Negligence Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Compensation
- Starting The Keyhole Surgery Negligence Claims Process
Keyhole surgery, also known as minimally invasive surgery or laparoscopic surgery, is a surgical procedure that uses small incisions and specialised instruments to access the inside of the body. The surgeon operates using a laparoscope, a long, thin instrument equipped with a camera and lighting, which transmits images to a video monitor.
This type of surgery typically results in smaller scars, less pain, quicker recovery times, and reduced risk of complications compared to traditional open surgery and is commonly used for a variety of procedures, such as gallbladder removal, hernia repair, and gynaecological procedures.
If you have been injured whilst having keyhole surgery, you may be eligible to claim compensation. To determine your eligibility to make a claim, there are two important factors that would first need to be verified by a medical negligence solicitor. These are that:
- Negligence occurred (breach of duty), which requires proof that a healthcare professional provided substandard care or treatment during the keyhole surgery; and
- Causation, which requires evidence linking the injury or illness directly to the professional’s negligence.
The “but for” test is a helpful evaluation, as a successful claim requires proof that the suffering would not have occurred but for the medical professional’s actions or inactions.
Once eligibility has been established, we’d advise filing a keyhole surgery negligence claim as soon as possible as time limits will apply which we will discuss further on.
Although keyhole surgery is performed by highly skilled surgeons and undertaken with extreme care, occasionally things can go wrong. Some examples of where surgical negligence could mean you’re eligible to claim compensation include:
- Carrying out the wrong medical procedure or operating on the wrong part of the body.
- Leaving foreign objects such as gauze, or even surgical instruments inside the body.
- Insufficiently monitoring the patient’s vital signs during surgery.
- Failing to recognise and properly treat potential complications.
- Equipment may not have been cleaned and sterilised properly.
- Failing to properly document any injuries or surgical complications.
Negligence in surgery is very serious and could cause devastating injuries. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury due to keyhole surgery negligence, please speak to one of our claims advisors for free advice.
Minor complications due to keyhole surgery may range from feeling nauseous to minor bleeding and bruising around the incision and infection of the wound or the organs. Serious complications may include:
- Damage to a major artery.
- Severe allergic reaction to general anaesthetic.
- Damage to one or more organs resulting in inefficient organ function or complete loss of organ function.
- Infection of external or internal wounds caused by lack of sterilisation techniques being adhered to.
- Development of deep vein thrombosis or blood clot in a vein, which can break off and block the flow of blood in the blood vessels in the lungs resulting in a pulmonary embolism.
- Nerve damage leading to weakness, loss of sensation and chronic pain.
If you believe you’ve suffered medical negligence during keyhole surgery, please contact us to speak to a medical negligence solicitor on our panel to find out if you could claim compensation.
When determining the total amount of compensation you should receive for keyhole surgery negligence, your solicitor will concentrate on two types of damages and will calculate the compensation individually for each one. The two types of damages are:
- General damages – These refer to the compensation given for factors such as the pain and suffering you have endured, any resultant mental health issues, and any loss of amenity.
- Special damages – These refer to any costs and expenses in relation to your injury. Special damages cover factors such as medical and travel expenses, care costs and any loss of income.
When calculating the amount of compensation for general damages, a medical assessment may be required. This is nothing to worry about and can be arranged by your solicitor with a local medical practice in most cases.
If someone you love has been injured due to keyhole surgery negligence but is not able to make a compensation claim themselves, a medical negligence solicitor on our team could help you to make a claim on their behalf. By acting as a litigation friend, a family member, friend or another responsible adult can represent the claimant when dealing with solicitors and courts during the claims process.
If a loved one has sadly died as a result of negligence during keyhole surgery, a solicitor could also help with a claim. There are two types of claims possible. One is a claim that can be made on behalf of the deceased’s estate for the pain and suffering they experienced before they lost their life. The other is a claim where any dependants of the deceased could be entitled to a bereavement payment and further compensation if they relied financially on the deceased.
Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.
Following an injury caused by negligence during keyhole surgery, there are certain steps you can take to gather evidence that could be used to support a future claim. These include:
- Medical care. Seek medical care immediately to get your injury assessed and treated correctly. A medical negligence solicitor will be able to gain access to your medical report if needed.
- Photographs. Taking photographs of your injury and its progress to visually help demonstrate the level of pain and suffering you’ve endured.
- Record of events. Write everything down from when you were injured to now so that you can refer back to it if asked by your solicitor or the courts. This helps ensure you do not forget any important details that may need to be included in your claim.
- Witness statements. Contact details of family and/or friends who have witnessed your suffering and events leading up to the keyhole surgery can also be helpful.
- Receipts. Keep hold of any receipts for medical or travel costs related to your injury.
- Bank statements/wage slips. Keep a record of any other monetary losses such as lost income.
It’s our experience that it’s important to act quickly if possible when gathering evidence to support your claim as there is less chance of any important factors being forgotten.
A medical negligence solicitor on our team will be able to advise and help you to gather the evidence needed to build a strong keyhole surgery negligence claim.
In the UK, claims for keyhole surgery negligence typically have a time limit of 3 years in which to begin the claim. The 3 years generally start from:
- The date your injury was sustained through medical negligence; or
- The date your injury was diagnosed.
If a child has sustained an injury from keyhole surgery, you have until they turn 18 to make a claim on their behalf as a litigation friend. If you do not make a claim for them, they have 3 years to pursue a claim themselves starting from when they turn 18 years of age.
Keyhole surgery negligence claims can be complex and may take longer than a year to reach a conclusion so starting a claim as soon as possible should give plenty of time for the gathering of evidence and building a strong case.
Medical negligence claims can be complex and having the help of a legal professional is recommended.
We offer an initial free consultation where you can discuss the nature of your claim with a trained claims advisor who’ll be able to advise you on your eligibility to claim and what your next steps might be.
If your claim, in their opinion, is likely to be successful, they would offer to pass it to a medical negligence solicitor on our team who conduct all claims on a No Win No Fee basis. This means they would pursue the claim for you with no payable upfront costs. If the claim is a success, the fee for their work will be deducted directly from the compensation awarded and is set as a percentage. If the claim is unsuccessful, we will not ask for any payment at all.
In our opinion, having legal representation greatly increases the likelihood of a successful keyhole surgery negligence claim, so please contact us on 0800 6524 881 for a free, no-obligation consultation.