Negligent removal of a woman's remaining ovary - £55,000 compensation

We recovered £55,000 compensation for our client, a 31 year old woman, following the negligent removal of both her ovaries during an operation, leaving her unable to conceive a child biologically.

In May 2010, the woman became concerned because she was experiencing menstrual irregularity and left-sided pelvic pain outside of her periods. She consulted a gynaecologist who recommended a transvaginal scan. A cyst was found on the woman’s left ovary and in June 2010 she underwent keyhole surgery to remove the cyst and a specimen was collected for histology.

The results indicated a borderline tumour of the left ovary and the woman was advised to have an operation to remove the left ovary only and appendix to prevent the development of ovarian cancer.

A detailed discussion took place regarding the right ovary and the woman advised she wanted to keep this ovary in order to conceive children in the future. There was no risk in keeping the right ovary and so the doctors agreed to this.

The woman went to hospital in August 2010 to have the procedure. A few weeks later, she began to experience abdominal pain and consequently attended Accident & Emergency. There she was told that she had in fact had both ovaries removed during the operation.

The woman subsequently attended an appointment with the surgeon that had performed the operation and he admitted he had removed both ovaries in error.

We were instructed in November 2010. The surgeon had written her a letter which made certain admissions in respect of breach of duty and in December 2010 Boyes Turner wrote to the NHS Trust asking them to admit the negligence.

In February 2011, our medical negligence solicitors served a letter of claim on the trust. The firm instructed two medical experts on the case. A consultant gynaecologist and gynaecological oncologist commented on the standard of care the woman received as well as the effects the alleged negligence had on her fertility. Meanwhile, a consultant psychiatrist commented on the psychological effects of the experience.

It was alleged that the removal of one ovary would still have allowed the woman to conceive a child that was biologically her own. However, now that she had lost both ovaries, she would be unable to bear a child with her own genetic make-up.

The expert evidence was that the woman would still be able to carry a child but would require a form of IVF treatment for this to be achieved.

Following service of the letter of claim, the trust made a formal admission of liability in May 2010 and the case settled for £55,000 in July 2011. There was no cost to our client in bringing the claim.  

The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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