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22 October 2022 | Case Study | Article by Lesley Herbertson

Man left in significant pain after haemorrhoid operation

Hundreds of thousands awarded to man who now suffers from pain and incontinence since surgery. Alex was in his 30s when he started to suffer with haemorrhoids which were, at first treated and managed conservatively by his GP.

However by 2009, a couple of years later, they were causing him such difficulty that his GP referred him to a local hospital where he underwent surgical haemorrhoidectomy.

Alex remained in hospital for three days but by the time he was discharged he was experiencing severe pain and had constipation.

He was in such pain that the following day he was re-admitted to the hospital and underwent an X-ray. The X-ray showed no significant abnormalities so Alex was discharged home once again with painkillers.

Alex continued to experience severe pain and attended A&E a couple of weeks later. Again, no complications or problems were found on examination and Alex was sent home.

A month later, Alex returned to the hospital for his first follow-up with his surgeon. He explained to his surgeon that he was in severe pain and was also now suffering with severe anal spasms.

Alex therefore underwent an examination under anaesthesia but again nothing was found. His pain was on-going and was having difficulty walking. He was examined but once again told that there was no explanation for this pain.

By February 2010 Alex was in such severe pain that he was admitted to A&E with pain and vomiting. It was queried whether Alex may have developed an abscess and an MRI scan was arranged.

The MRI scan showed no evidence of abscess but Alex continued to experience severe pain. His pain was so bad he was struggling to sit and walk.

In October 2010, a year after his haemorrhoidectomy surgery, Alex underwent colonoscopy at which a benign tumour was found and removed from his colon.

However, Alex continued to experience pain and intrusive symptoms and underwent a further examination under anaesthetic in March 2011. Eventually, Alex felt unable to cope with the pain any longer and asked his GP to refer him to a different consultant at a different hospital.

Alex was seen at a private hospital in March 2012 where he underwent an endo-anal ultrasound showed evidence of damage to much of Alex’s bowels which was considered to be as a direct result of his haemorrhoidectomy contributed to by the examinations under anaesthetic. Unfortunately for Alex it was noted that this was not going to be an easy problem to fix.

Alex now suffers from severe pain and fecal incontinence. His pain is such that he has problems with mobility and requires a lot of help and assistance from his family with everyday life.

Alex instructed Hugh James who investigated the standard of care provided to Alex by his original surgeon during the haemorrhoidectomy. It was alleged that the surgeon failed to carry out the haemorrhoidectomy surgery to an appropriate standard and as a result caused permanent damage to Alex’s colon and bowels.

The Hospital Trust originally denied that there had been any negligence, however, shortly after court proceedings were started to formally sue the Trust they admitted that the surgery had been performed negligently and that this was the cause of Alex’s ongoing problems.

After further investigations into Alex’s ongoing pain to establish how he may be in the future we were able to settle Alex’s case for £265,000.00.

Lesley Herbertson, Partner at Hugh James, acted on Alex’s behalf and commented:

This was a difficult case which unfortunately was made more difficult from Alex’s perspective by the hospital’s initial refusal to acknowledge that something had gone wrong during the surgery and that this had caused Alex’s problems.

We were forced to issue court proceedings on Alex’s behalf before the hospital acknowledged that something had gone wrong. This led to the case taking longer and Alex having to live with the consequences of the negligent surgery without any admission of negligence for much longer than he really ought to.

However, I am very pleased that we were eventually able to settle this case and I think that this represents a really good settlement for Alex to help him put in place the support he needs in relation to pain management but also to provide degree of financial security for him and his family should Alex be unable to continue working due to the pain.

The names and identifying details of the client have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals involved.

Author bio

Lesley Herbertson is a Partner at Hugh James and a leading medical negligence solicitor with over 30 years’ experience in dealing with catastrophic and serious injury medical negligence cases.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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