Compensation Claim for Surgical Complications

I want to make a compensation claim for surgical complications from bowel surgery. The surgeon perforated my colon during a hernia operation causing me to develop peritonitis. Will I be entitled to compensation?

It is not always possible to make a compensation claim for surgical complications from bowel surgery, as there are risks associated with the procedure which are often outside the control of the surgeon. Surgery does not always go according to plan, even when procedures have been diligently prepared and the surgery is performed with a high level of skill and care.

However, when a surgeon fails to exercise a reasonable amount of care, and a patient sustains an injury as a direct result, a surgical complication compensation claim can usually be made as the error would be classed as medical negligence.

A perforated bowel can cause faecal matter to enter into the body cavity, causing an infection and inflammation of the peritoneum. In all likelihood you would not have suffered from peritonitis if the surgeon had performed the operation more carefully, and the surgical complication appears to have been suffered as a direct result of negligence of the surgeon. Since a perforated bowel is unlikely to be considered to be an unavoidable risk from a hernia operation, there is a strong probability that you will be able to successfully recover compensation for a surgical complication.

You should therefore be entitle to make claims for surgical complications and to be compensated for the pain and suffering caused by peritonitis, in addition to the ‘inconvenience’ of having to undergo a second invasive surgical procedure and any extension in your recovery time that this has caused.

However, before a compensation claim for surgical complications can be made, medical negligence must be established and proven, and to do this you will require the services of a medical negligence solicitor. A solicitor will contact all parties involved in the operation to establish how and why a mistake was made. Your surgical complication compensation claim will be investigated to confirm that under the circumstances, the surgeon was negligent for having caused the injury and subsequent peritonitis.

A solicitor will also obtain your medical notes and will consult a doctor with extensive experience of internal medicine to determine the severity of your illness and whether any permanent damage has been caused. If you are likely to suffer future health problems as a result of the peritonitis or the damage caused to your bowel, this must be factored into the amount of compensation for a surgical complication that is claimed.

Claims for surgical complications can also be made to recoup any financial losses suffered as a result of the illness or being required to undergo further surgery, such as loss of earnings from unpaid sick leave. Your solicitor will ensure that all aspects of your injuries are given careful consideration to ensure that your full entitlement to compensation can be claimed and recovered.



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.