Operation Gone Wrong Negligence Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation If An Operation Has Gone Wrong

By Lewis Morrison. Last updated 13th January 2023. Welcome to our operation gone wrong claims guide. Have you suffered operation gone wrong negligence? Would you like to seek compensation for your suffering via a failed operation claim?

Operation gone wrong negligence

Operation gone wrong negligence

When you have an operation, you would be advised of all the risks of the surgery you’re undergoing. But what if a mistake is made and an operation has gone wrong due to negligence by the medical practitioner or surgical team that is supposed to be looking after your care?

In this operation gone wrong claims guide, we will explain how you can claim the maximum compensation you deserve. Additionally, we take a look at how to go about making an operation gone wrong claim, giving you all the information you may need to find out whether you could be eligible for compensation for a botched surgery. If you have found yourself in a situation where you have suffered harm due to medical negligence in surgery, you may find the guidance here useful.

If you would like to get advice about your specific situation, the team here at Medical Negligence Assist would be happy to help. To discuss failed operation claims, you can reach us on 0800 652 3087. However, we would urge you to take a look through our operation gone wrong claims guide. From there, you can learn more about making this type of operation gone wrong negligence claim.

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A Guide On Operation Gone Wrong Compensation Claims

Have you undergone cosmetic surgery that has gone wrong in the UK? Or has a routine caesarean section, hip operation or gallbladder operation gone wrong due to surgical negligence? Have you suffered harm as a result of this? Has it impinged your recovery, led you to require more invasive treatment, or worse, left you with further injuries?

Sure have a duty to provide safe and effective care for you. If you have suffered from private or NHS negligence during surgery that has caused you harm, you could be eligible to claim medical negligence payouts for the avoidable harm you’ve suffered and the financial costs arising from this.

The sections below in this failed operation claims guide offers answers to common questions that could arise from operations that have gone horribly wrong. We look at what to do if an operation goes wrong, the steps that hospitals should put in place to avoid mistakes in surgery, and how you could make an operation gone wrong claim if you’ve been injured due to surgical negligence. We also look at how utilising the services of a personal injury lawyer could be beneficial when claiming for surgical error.

What Are Operation Gone Wrong Claims?

While you would have signed a consent form for an operation that detailed all the risks from undergoing surgery, if a surgeon makes an error and you are harmed because of this, you could be eligible to claim compensation for an operation gone wrong.

What Is Surgical Error?

A surgical error is, essentially, something that goes wrong in surgery. A surgical error could be caused by several factors and could affect patients in many different ways.

For example, surgical errors could include:

  • Surgeries at the wrong site
  • Unnecessary surgeries
  • Leaving surgical instruments inside you
  • Performing incorrect surgery
  • Administering the incorrect injection
  • Using the wrong port site
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Avoidable nerve damage
  • Failure to manage minor complications
  • Using the wrong implant/prosthesis
  • Also using the wrong stent
  • Misplacing tubes
  • Transfusing the wrong blood

Operations Gone Wrong – What Could Happen?

There are a few different ways in which operations can go wrong. Whilst they aren’t all necessarily examples of medical negligence, they could be in certain circumstances.

An operation gone wrong could include:

  • Surgery performed on the wrong part of the body
  • Foreign objects being left inside the patient
  • The wrong operation being carried out

Some of these are also examples of surgical never events. A never event is always an example of a medical professional failing to provide the correct standard of care.

Get in touch today if you’re wondering if what you experienced means you could have a legitimate claim. Whether it be a facelift gone wrong, or another form of surgery gone wrong, we may be able to help if the harm you sustained was caused by medical negligence.

Surgical Errors Claims – Do I Need Evidence?

If surgery has gone wrong and you have experienced harm, you could be eligible to claim. However, it’s important for you to begin collecting evidence to support your medical injury claim.

You’ll need to prove the following:

  • A duty of care was owed to you by a medical professional
  • They breached this duty of care
  • You subsequently suffered harm as a result

Any qualified medical professional, whether it be a doctor or cosmetic surgery practitioner,  must provide their patients with care that is of a reasonable standard. Failure to do so may result in you suffering harm.

If you’ve suffered harm due to medical procedures gone wrong and are eligible to claim, evidence can include:

  • Photographs of your injuries
  • Contact details of any witnesses who can make a statement confirming the incident
  • Medical reports from a healthcare professional or from a hospital
  • Any correspondence between you and the faulting party

A medical negligence solicitor from our panel could work with you on your case if you have a valid claim. They can assist with gathering evidence and offer free legal advice on surgical error claims.

Negligence Leading To An Operation Going Wrong

Here, we take a look at some examples of how operation gone wrong negligence could occur.

Complications caused by the surgical procedures -If a surgeon were to forget a small part of a complex procedure or fail to plan for common complications, this could lead to a patient suffering severe harm.

Mistakes with anaesthetics – The dose of anaesthesia that a patient requires should be calculated carefully to ensure that the patient is appropriately anaesthetised. Overdosing or underdosing of anaesthesia could have serious consequences, leading to problems such as a patient being awake during surgery or having their breathing compromised, for example. Poor monitoring of anaesthesia could also lead to complications during surgery.

Misdiagnosis leading to surgery that was not necessary – If a misdiagnosis has been made and the patient undergoes unnecessary surgery, this could leave them with complications from the surgery and scarring that could have been avoidable.

Negligence in cosmetic procedures – Errors in cosmetic procedures could also cause problems, such as scarring, infection and more.

The type of negligence you would be required to prove could fall into one of four categories:

  • Gross Negligence – This could be considered the most serious type of negligence. This could include cases where the patient’s safety has been completed disregarded. Cases of this type could, in some cases, lead to a surgeon losing their licence.
  • Contributory Negligence – Sometimes, it could be found that the patient has contributed to medical negligence. It may be difficult for claimants to get compensation for cases that fall into this category.
  • Comparative Negligence – In these cases, the patient may be partly at fault for the problem, but the surgeon would also share the blame. Compensation could still be awarded for cases in this category, but it may be lower to reflect a patient’s share of the blame.
  • Vicarious Liability – Cases where the hospital, whether private or NHS, are found to be liable for their employees.

To learn more about operation gone wrong claims, please read on.

Injuries Caused By Surgery Being Carried Out On The Wrong Site

One type of error that could lead to an operation gone wrong claim could include a case where the surgery was carried out on the wrong site. Wrong-site surgeries resulting in a failed operation claim would be classed as NHS ‘never events’. This means that the NHS has placed procedures to ensure that these incidents ‘never’ happen.

However, according to the NHS, 423 never events occurred between April 2018 and January 2019. 165 of these were wrong-site surgeries.  These included:

  • 16 instances where the wrong skin lesion was removed
  • 31 instances where there was a wrong site block
  • 9 instances where a spinal injection was administered to the wrong side
  • 3 instances where an angioplasty was performed on the wrong side
  • 3 instances where ovaries were removed in error
  • And more…

If you were harmed because of this type of surgical negligence – for example, where ovaries were removed could result in infertility – you could consider launching a claim for an operation that went wrong. Compensation could be claimed for your pain and suffering, both physical and mental, as well as financial costs and losses associated with such an event.

Injuries Caused By Unnecessary Surgeries

Having surgery comes with risks, so if you have undergone surgery and later found that it was unnecessary, you may have been put at risk for no good reason. So, for this type of operation gone wrong claim, unnecessary surgery could include:

  • Surgeries that were unnecessary because of misdiagnosis
  • An inappropriate procedure leading to a requirement for further surgery
  • A failure to consider non-surgical options

Examples of surgeries that were performed unnecessarily could be seen in the Ian Paterson enquiry related to a breast surgeon convicted of unlawful wounding. Paterson performed breast surgeries on women who did not require them after convincing them that it was the appropriate treatment.

Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong

If you have suffered from plastic surgery gone wrong as a result of the negligent actions of a medical professional, you may have grounds for a valid claim. In this section, we’ll discuss examples of plastic surgery gone wrong that might lead to you making an eligible surgical error claim.

Here are some reasons why you might claim for a surgical error:

  • If you are given too much or too little anaesthesia, this negligence may cause you to have a reaction. In some cases, this kind of mistake may lead to a fatal accident.
  • Your practitioner may not have provided enough information to you before carrying out the procedure.
  • Your practitioner may make a mistake whilst performing surgery on you.
  • Adequate care may not have been offered before, during or after the procedure.

Don’t worry if you can’t see your scenario listed above. If you have suffered harm as a result of negligence, such as a medical injury, you could be owed compensation. Get in touch for more information.

Time Limits In Which To Claim For An Operation Gone Wrong

Whether you have suffered harm from private or NHS negligence, there would be a personal injury claims time limit that would apply to your case. However, when making an operation gone wrong claim, the date when the time limitation period starts could vary, depending on when you found out that the operation went wrong and caused you harm.

While some people may be immediately aware that the surgery went wrong and had caused them problems, other acts of surgical negligence may only be noticed as time goes on. If, for example, you have had a knee operation gone wrong, you may not know that this has caused you harm until the injury has partially healed and is still causing you problems.

The usual time limit for making a medical claim would be three years from either the date of the negligence or the date of discovery that negligence had harmed you. However, some other exceptions could relate to surgeries performed when you were a child or in cases where the patient does not have the physical or mental capacity to claim at the time.

Please do call us if you are unsure of the specific limitation period for your operation gone wrong claim. We’d be happy to look into this for you so that you can file a failed operation claim.

Calculating What You Could Claim

If you’ve suffered harm from a private or NHS operation gone wrong, you may be curious about how much negligent surgery compensation you could be eligible for, and you may have looked for a negligence compensation calculator to provide this information to you. Below, instead of including such a calculator, we have compiled a table containing figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines.

These figures could act as an alternative to a personal injury claims calculator and give approximate payout brackets for certain injuries, which we believe could relate to this type of medical negligence claim. If you cannot see the specific injury you’ve experienced here, then we could give you further information over the phone once we’ve taken some details of the injuries you’ve suffered.

Type of InjuryNotesCompensation Bracket
Female loss of fertilityVia disease or injury, resulting in anxiety, depression and pain.£114,900 to
Male Impotence Permanent loss. Claimant would have children already or no intention of having children/more children£43,010 to
Injuries to Bowels (b)Requirement for colostomy - loss of function.Up to
Total deafnessWith no tinnitus or speech impediment£90,750 to £109,650
Facial disfigurement (a)Scarring that is very severe which leaves a disfiguring effect and severe psychological reaction.£29,780 to £97,330
Facial disfigurement (b)Scarring that is less severe where there is still substantial disfigurement and significant level of psychological reaction.£17,960 to £48,420
Facial disfigurement (c)Significant levels of scarring which were reduced by surgery but where there is still some residual cosmetic disability.£9,110 to £30,090
Injuries to the Bladder (c)Some incontinence and serious impaired control. Pain could be present.£63,980 to

Injuries to KidneysWith a risk of a future urinary tract infection, or function loss of kidneysUp to £63,980
Eye Injury: (e) Loss of sight in one eyeIn one eye, where there could be a risk of opthalmia (sympathetic)£49,270 to £54,830
Hernias: (a)Where physical activities, sport and work activities are limited even after the hernia has been repaired.£14,900 to

It would be prudent of us to advise you that the above amounts relate to general damages for operation gone wrong claims, which are payouts for the suffering and pain of the injuries you’ve sustained.

However, you could also receive special damages to compensate you for any financial harm you’ve suffered because your surgery has gone wrong, in addition to amounts such as those included in the table above. These special damages could include care costs, travel costs, medical costs, loss of earnings and other impacts from suffering operation gone wrong negligence.

No Win No Fee Claims For An Operation Which Has Gone Wrong

Whether you have suffered harm from NHS negligence when an operation went wrong, or you were injured due to private surgery gone wrong, you may wish to seek out a medical negligence solicitor’s assistance when it comes to making a personal injury claim for medical malpractice in surgery.

Using the services of a personal injury lawyer would be something we would recommend, as this could help make the process easier for you at a time when you may still be recovering from an operation gone wrong.

Did you know that you could retain the services of a medical negligence lawyer without having to pay legal fees upfront? With lawyers who work on a No Win No Fee basis, you need to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement to pay the lawyer a percentage of your payout as a success fee once your failed operation claim pays out.

The percentage you’d agree to pay can only be a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation, and this would only be payable if your lawyer were able to get you a payout, of course. If your personal injury solicitor couldn’t achieve a payout for you but had a valid claim, you wouldn’t have to pay a success fee.

Contact Us To Make A Surgical Negligence Claim

Have you suffered operation gone wrong negligence? Would you like to seek compensation for your suffering?

For more specific guidance on making an operation gone wrong claim, why not contact our team? We could offer you a free assessment of your case to see if we think you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim for a botched operation. If we think you could claim, we could connect you with a medical negligence solicitor who could help you begin a compensation claim.

All you need to do is call 0800 652 3087. Alternatively, you could complete the contact form, and we’ll get back to you. It really is that easy to get our advice.

Where Could I Learn More?

Here are some further resources relating to operation gone wrong claims:

Thanks for reading our operation gone wrong claims guide, where we’ve hopefully explained how you could claim compensation after suffering operation gone wrong negligence.

Please get in touch if you need to make an operation gone wrong claim/failed operation claim.

Written by Jo.

Edited by LisM.