Our client had struggled with her weight for many years when her GP referred her for Gastric Bypass Surgery. She attended a detailed consultation and underwent various investigation and followed the strict dietary requirements to prepare for the surgery.

When our client woke up from the Gastric Bypass surgery she was in extreme pain. She was told that the staple gun used in the procedure had misfired and the surgeons had to make a large incision to perform a lifesaving operation. She had a large wound which was very sore, and she worried that it would burst open.

A CT scan revealed a hematoma which was drained. Our client remained in hospital and the pain continued, the wound was infected and eight days after the surgery it opened. It was cleaned and monitored and four days later she was discharged home with antibiotics and an open wound which was packed daily.

Assurances were made that the faulty staple gun would be sent for testing and an investigation would take place. A month later our client received the manufacturers report which concluded that the gun had been tested and it did not fail, suggesting the injury had been caused by human error. She contacted the Hospital immediately and they stood by their initial advice that the staple gun had misfired, and the surgeons had saved her life.

Our client developed an incisional hernia, and she was advised that she would require further surgery in the future to repair it. She underwent an eight-stone weight loss but continued to suffer from abdominal pain and was diagnosed with a depressive disorder triggered by the physical complications of the surgery. Our client has been left with complex medical needs including persistent chronic pain, recurrent wound infections, incisional hernia, and the associated loss of independence. This has impacted on her relationships with her children, family and friends.

Clinical Negligence Claim

Unhappy with the lack of clarity about what had happened Ison Harrison were instructed to investigate a Clinical Negligence Claim. Medical records were obtained, and a Consultant Upper GI Surgeon and Psychiatrist were instructed to prepare reports on liability and condition and prognosis.

A Letter of Claim was served on the Defendant setting out the allegation that there was a failure to correctly operate the staple gun intraoperatively which resulted in misfire and caused conversion to an open procedure, development of a wound infection, a large painful incisional hernia, excessive scarring and psychiatric injury.

The Defendant denied liability. Court proceeding were issued, and further investigations were undertaken. The Defendant continued to deny liability however settlement was reached at a joint settlement meeting.

Given the stance taken by the Defendant our client found the process difficult but was relieved that the matter was eventually brought to a successful conclusion, with our client receiving an award of compensation and able to move on with her life and recovery.

What to do if you have concerns

If you have concerns about medical care that you or a loved one have received, please contact a member of the Clinical Negligence Team on 0113 284 5000 or alternatively email clinneg@isonharrison.co.uk for a free, no obligation conversation to see if we can help you.