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Failed Female Sterilisation Claims
If you believe you have suffered physically or emotionally as a result of negligent female sterilisation surgery, the specialist solicitors at JMW can help you claim the compensation you deserve
Our team of highly regarded medical negligence lawyers have helped many women in this position, and are perfectly placed to secure the outcome that you deserve. We can provide the support you need throughout your female sterilisation claim.
Working with sensitivity and the utmost professionalism, our solicitors include members of the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel and the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence.
Contact our friendly clinical negligence team today by calling us on 0345 872 6666.. If you would prefer for us to contact you, simply complete our online enquiry form and we will be in touch at a time convenient for you. Our solicitors can take on cases on a no win, no fee basis.
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How JMW Can Help
Our expert solicitors are happy to offer free initial advice on any matter relating to medical negligence. If you believe that you, or any member of your family, have a potential claim, contact us for a no-obligation chat about your situation and we can advise you of what will happen next.>
Regarded as one of the very best in the UK, our clinical negligence team is headed by leading solicitor Eddie Jones. We pride ourselves on our proactive and professional approach and are committed to securing the very best outcome. The team includes members of the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence solicitors and the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel.
Our solicitors are well versed in claiming against the NHS and private healthcare providers on behalf of clients who have suffered due to negligence.
How to Make a Failed Sterilisation Claim
Female sterilisation is a popular form of contraception; however, it is also responsible for more legal claims than any other single surgical procedure. This is primarily due to either a failure to obtain consent or because the operation was unsuccessful.
If you have suffered as a result of an error during or after sterilisation, the specialist solicitors at JMW are here to guide you through the compensation claims process with the utmost professionalism, expertise and sensitivity.
We will first investigate the full details of your case to ascertain whether or not you have a valid claim, before analysing medical records and consulting with independent medical experts to give you the best possible chance of claiming the compensation you deserve.
The team will also work hard to secure interim payments, where possible, to help you afford any immediate care requirements you may have as a result of the negligence you have suffered.
What is female sterilisation?
Female sterilisation is a method of contraception that involves the fallopian tubes, which link the ovaries to the uterus, being blocked or sealed. As a result, a woman's eggs should be prevented from reaching sperm, thus preventing the likelihood of an egg becoming sterilised.
These eggs, which will continue to be released from the ovaries as before, are then naturally absorbed into the woman's body. Sterilisation is usually performed under general anaesthetic, although depending on the method used, can also be carried out under local anaesthetic.
The vast majority of procedures are effective; however, there is always a risk that the operation will not go to plan and this can lead to unwanted pregnancy.
What are the risks of sterilisation?
- The sterilisation could fail and the fallopian tubes could rejoin, making you fertile again
- When the tubes are blocked, there is a small risk of complications, which can include infection and internal bleeding
- If a pregnancy does occur after the operation, there is a greater risk of it being ectopic, which involves the growth of the fertilised egg outside of the womb
Female sterilisation is not a foolproof method of contraception and all women undergoing the procedure should be warned of possible failure.
How are sterilisation operations performed?
In the past, many sterilisations were performed via a laparotomy (opening of the abdomen) and the most popular and successful was the Pomeroy technique. This involved drawing the tube up into a loop and then tying off the base with catgut. The loop was then cut off. This method is still sometimes carried out using a laparoscope and is usually highly effective.
Nowadays, the vast majority of sterilisations are performed using laparoscopy (keyhole surgery). The most common laparoscopic techniques include:
- Application of clips (otherwise known as Hulka-Clemens or Filshie techniques)
- Application of silastic rings (otherwise known as falope rings)
- Using heat to cut the tubes (diathermy coagulation). This method, however, is becoming less common due to a high failure rate
What are the common causes of negligence?
Surgical mistakes are more likely to occur with the closed laparoscopic method than with the abdomen open at laparotomy, particularly in the hands of an inexperienced surgeon, and it is not uncommon for the round ligaments in the pelvis to be mistaken for the fallopian tubes.
When clips are used, it is important that they are applied to the narrowest part of the tube (the isthmus). If they are applied to the wider part, they may not completely occlude the tube. Most surgeons now apply two clips to each tube in an attempt to reduce failure rates
Regardless of the method of sterilisation used, and however expertly it is performed, operations can still sometimes fail. The two main reasons for this are
- The two halves of the divided fallopian tube can come together and rejoin (recanalisation)
- The formation of a fistula (an abnormal passage) between the tube and the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity). This happens most commonly with diathermy coagulation
Female sterilisation is not a fool proof method of contraception and all women undergoing the procedure should be warned of possible failure.
In cases where a woman becomes pregnant shortly after the operation (in less than 12 months), it has been suggested that this is more likely to be due to surgical error than simply luck.