£52,000 Compensation for Surgical Errors in Appendectomy

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Kelly Withers

Senior Associate Solicitor

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Our client had been suffering with abdominal pain for four days and was admitted to Charing Cross Hospital for treatment. An ultrasound scan of his abdomen and pelvis revealed he was suffering from acute appendicitis, and he underwent a laparoscopic appendectomy that evening.

After being discharged from hospital, his pain and discomfort continued and gradually got worse. He later returned to the hospital, where he was given a CT scan, and it was eventually found that part of his appendix was still present in his body.

A further operation then had to be carried out, which caused our client to be bedbound for several weeks, and unable to go back to work for two months. The second surgical procedure also left a permanent scar on his abdomen. Although the scarring can be reduced with further surgery and treatment, it was unnecessarily created due to an avoidable issue during the first procedure.

The first procedure, known as a laparoscopic appendectomy, is a minimally invasive surgery to remove the appendix through keyhole surgery. Keyhole surgery (laparoscopy) is usually recommended by clinicians to patients with appendicitis, as the recovery time is far quicker than with open surgery. Unfortunately, as the operation was not done correctly the first time, the second surgery required open surgery, which creates a larger opening in the body to access the appendix. Stitching repairs the opening, often causing permanent scarring.

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Usual Appendicitis Down Time

There is nothing specific that causes Appendicitis, but according to the NHS, it could be due to a blockage or an upper respiratory tract infection causing the lymph node within the wall of the bowel to swell.

The swelling of the appendix is painful, as it’s a small thin pouch about 5 to 10cm long, which is connected to the large intestines. Every year, around 50,000 people are admitted into hospital due to this, and the downtime for the keyhole laparoscopic surgery is usually just one week.

If our client’s operation had gone correctly in the first instance, then he would have had minimal recovery time, meaning that he would have been able to go back to work more quickly. He wouldn’t have needed  a further operation - open surgery - to rectify the issue.

How We Helped

The client contacted our Medical Negligence Solicitors for free legal advice, and we agreed to help him claim compensation for those surgical errors.

We arranged for independent medical assessments to take place, which revealed that he was suffering with ongoing abdominal symptoms since the surgery.  This was the result of his exposure to untreated peritonitis following the initial surgery, which wasn’t expected to improve in the foreseeable future.

There was also a chance that if his condition deteriorated, he would require further surgery, which may involve several operations and an extended recuperation period, forcing him to take several months off work.

After preparing the case, we approached Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, citing a list of medical failings with his treatment. This included:

  • Failure to remove the entirety of the patient’s appendix
  • Not checking whether all of the appendix had been removed
  • Failing to exercise all proper professional skill, care, competence and diligence in carrying out the appendix operation.

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors also argued that the NHS Trust hadn’t provided appropriate, reasonable and skilful treatment, which exposed our client to an unnecessary risk of pain and injury.

And because of the medical negligence, our client required further, more invasive surgical procedures, that required an extended recovery period. Overall, he had suffered avoidable and permanent personal injury, loss and damage.

The Outcome

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust admitted liability (fault) and agreed to pay our client £52,000 in medical negligence compensation.

This claim amount managed to help him cover the costs of his enforced time off work and recovery from this trauma.

Let us help you

Our Hospital Negligence Solicitors have helped secure compensation amounts for our clients ranging from £8,000 to £12 million.

We offer a Free Claims Assessment by phone. Get in touch with our legal experts today to see if we can help you get the compensation and support you need. 

Helping people with Surgical Negligence Claims

If you’ve been affected by a surgical error whilst you were in hospital for planned or emergency surgery, our friendly and approachable Medical Negligence Solicitors can help you understand if you have a claim for compensation.

When you have surgery, you put your trust completely into the surgeon operating on you, so if a mistake happens, it can be extremely upsetting and have serious consequences on your health.

You can rely on our specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors to be clear about where you stand during our Free Claims Assessment. This will help you to decide if you want to move forward with making a medical negligence claim.

During the claims process, we can also ask the NHS or your healthcare provider to make sure that lessons are learned, so that no one else has to go through what you have.

Call us for a free claims assessment and ask us about taking your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis. Call 0808 239 2251 or request a call-back and we will help you.


NHS. (n.d.). Appendicitis - Treatment. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/appendicitis/treatment/

NHS. (n.d.). Respiratory Tract Infection. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/respiratory-tract-infection/

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