Nerve Damage from Surgery

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Our medical negligence solicitors have handled compensation claims involving nerve damage from all types of pelvic operations including laparoscopy and laparotomy. No Win No Fee legal representation is available. If you would like legal advice regarding your nerve injury, contact our legal team.

Only afew possible complications during gynaecological procedures can be permanent. Typically, any complication that comes along will be able to be fixed by surgery or some other procedure or pharmaceutical remedy. Nerve damage, on the other hand, cannot be fixed easily, and many times leads to a permanent injury.

Any surgery carries with it a risk of possible nerve damage. In particular, more invasive surgeries carry much more risk because of the proximity of the work to the nervous system. Pelvic surgery is no exception, with some common causes that make it more susceptible to complication.

The most common cause for the nerve damage can come from thermal distress from an electrosurgical device used during the procedure, accidentally cutting across a nerve due to incisions, or even damage from insertion of a trocar. It should be obvious that any time a sharp instrument enters into the body cavity, there is a risk of a neuropathy. What isn’t so obvious are the other possible causes that don’t contain any sort of object, such as nerves receiving too little blood flow from improperly clipping blood vessels during the procedure, reconstructive pelvic surgery that requires any sort of artificial grafting or components, or even a simple compression or stretching of a nerve because of the way a patient is positioned during the procedure.

The most common symptom of a neural injury is pain. A pinched nerve can vary anywhere from projecting an extraordinary amount of pain at all times to a very dull pain only when a patient turns or bends a certain way. Paralysis, loss of sensation to hot or cold, and weakness are also obvious indicators that a neuropathy has occurred. It is vitally important that the patient understands to look for these, however subtle they may be, particularly in the 2 weeks following the gynaecological procedure.

If the injury goes untreated, the nerve can very quickly deteriorate from a minor, temporary injury to a permanent one, or one that can have debilitating symptoms. Usually an injury starts as a minor weakness or loss of sensation due to a misaligned nerve and progresses to a much worse pain as the nerve sustains further damage. However, some nerves that have been cut can result in significant pain from the start.

When the possibility of a neuropathy is identified, it is imperative to consult a neurologist or neurosurgeon at the soonest possible availability. Surgery may be needed to correct the situation. Surgery is not the only treatment available, but is usually the most effective. The patient might be interested in a more holistic approach, where discussions about improving their B12 intake, physiotherapy, and simple pain management might take place. Relaxation training, walking, yoga, and acupuncture have also shown very good results.

No matter what the decided approach is to the neuropathy, the one clear message that must be understood is the requirement to immediately bring up any suspected nerve injuries to the treatment team. Time is the most precious commodity that can’t be reversed.

 

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