Last updated on August 2nd, 2019
Keyhole Surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that is carried out using fibre optic thin long surgical instruments, which are inserted into the body through tiny incisions. These small cuts are about 5 to 10 mm in length as opposed to the larger, over 30 cm cuts that are made during traditional surgical procedures.
During this procedure, a tiny fibre-optic video camera called a laparoscope is inserted into the body through a small incision that is made directly above the area that requires treatment. The laparoscope allows the surgeon to get a detailed view of the internal organs. This can be used both, for the purpose of diagnosis as well as for the actual procedure.
For the surgery, tiny cutting tools are inserted into the body. The surgeon performs the procedure while viewing the entire operation on a special screen that displays images taken with the laparoscope.
Why Keyhole Surgery Is The Preferred Alternative
Keyhole surgery is becoming increasingly more common today. While it cannot be used to perform all types of procedures, it is the preferred alternative to traditional surgery if it is an option. This is because this existing technology offers several benefits over traditional surgical techniques.
The biggest advantage of keyhole surgery is that it avoids the use of large cuts that were used in earlier surgical procedures. These resulted in severe pain, take longer to heal, increase the risk of infection and involve extended stays in the hospital.
With smaller incisions, post-operative pain is reduced tremendously, the internal and external scars heal much faster, the risk of complications and infections are minimised and patients are required to stay in the hospital for just a day or two. Overall, keyhole surgery is faster and safer. Less recovery time means a much quicker return to work and to daily activities and better cosmetic results so there’s less to worry on these fronts too.
What Can Go Wrong With Keyhole Surgery?
Keyhole surgery is performed by highly skilled and experienced surgeons. The risk of something going wrong is very miniscule. However, as with any medical procedure, it can happen. There are several errors that can arise during and after the procedure.
The procedure involves making small incisions in the skin through which a camera and surgical instruments are inserted into the body. The video transmits live magnified images of the organs and the instruments onto screens set up in the operating theatre. The surgeon carries out the procedure using these magnified images to guide the surgical instruments around the inside of the body.
The riskiest part of the procedure is the very first step when the camera is inserted into the body. This insertion is done blind. It is only after the camera is inserted that the surgeon has visual access to the organs inside the body. But the camera insertion itself is done without any visual access, which increases the risk of unintentional physical damage, especially if there is any deviation from the typical body anatomy. This damage could be mild or severe.
There is also the risk of something going wrong during the procedure itself, which could be due to an error of judgement. This could have serious and sometimes fatal consequences.
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 the general anaesthesia;
- Damage to one or more organs resulting in inefficient organ function or complete loss of organ function;
- Infection of external or internal wounds;
- 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;
- Gas bubbles from the carbon dioxide used in the procedure entering arteries or veins.
In case of very serious complications, further surgery may be required to correct the problem or minimise the damage.
Another major issue that can arise with keyhole surgery is when it is carried out for diagnostic purposes. Sometimes, a surgeon may misdiagnose the condition or miss it completely. An incorrect or missed diagnosis and the resultant delay in treating the condition can result in the condition progressing and becoming more severe or even life threatening.
Keyhole Surgery Negligence And Your Right To Claim Compensation
If you suffered the consequences of keyhole surgery negligence, either due to faulty diagnosis or faulty procedure, you may be able to claim keyhole surgery compensation for your pain and suffering.
Medical professionals have a duty of care towards their patients. Any doctor who fails in this regard is considered liable for the consequences. If you think you or a loved one has suffered unnecessarily either because the procedure failed to diagnose a condition or because of problems during or following keyhole surgery, you may have a right to get compensated for your pain and suffering.
The first thing you need to do if you decide to file a keyhole surgery negligence claim for compensation is to get in touch with a personal injury solicitor and explain the circumstances. If the fault is clear and you have a strong case, our solicitors will advise you to go ahead and pursue your compensation claim. They will also offer to put together a strong claim on your behalf and represent you in court without asking you to pay any legal fees until the claim is won.
The only condition that you will be required to agree to is if you win you will have to pay a percentage of the award towards the legal fees. This is called a No Win No Fee agreement and basically ensures that you get legal advice and representation without any out of pocket expense. We always explain everything you’d like to know in plain English including how the No Win No Fee agreement works including our fee and how it is calculated. In basic terms the No Win No Fee agreement makes it possible for victims of medical negligence to claim compensation regardless of their financial situation.