Many of us will at some stage have to entrust our health to medical professionals. Sometimes this will involve us undergoing surgical procedures. Most operations are performed to a high standard by competent surgeons without any problems. However, each year many patients suffer unnecessary harm due to surgical errors. Sometimes the damage is repairable and does not give rise to any long term effects but in other cases negligence can result in permanent disability or even a fatality.

Reasons of Surgical Errors

Surgical errors can occur for a variety of reasons, for example poor surgical technique, faulty equipment or defective monitoring machinery.

All operations are carried out with a certain level of risk and there are also specific risks to each different procedure. All of these risks should be outlined to you by your consultant prior to agreeing to undergo the procedure. This is called informed consent. This is so that a patient can make an informed choice of having surgery and the possible complications that could arise. Failure to provide informed consent is negligence itself.

Types of Surgical Error

Some of the more common types of surgical errors include:

  • accidental perforation of organs, particularly during key hole procedures
  • incorrect procedures carried out
  • operations performed on the wrong body part or organ
  • foreign bodies such as swabs and surgical equipment left inside the patient after the operation
  • failed sterilisation during a vasectomy
  • surgical injuries to nerves, tissues and blood vessels
  • errors in cosmetic surgery
  • damage to vile ducts during gall bladder removal
  • complications with laser eye surgery
  • errors with anaesthesia such as anaesthetic awareness
  • excessive scarring, for example in breast reduction operation
  • complications with hysterectomies
  • issues with informed consent
  • injuries and nerve damage caused by incorrect positioning of a patient in theatre.

If you believe you may have been a victim of surgical error you should contact our office today to seek further information concerning your rights to claim compensation. You can also download an online claim from our website at