Bladder and bowel damage during laparoscopic prostatectomy

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

This was a complex case arising out of bladder and bowel damage caused to a middle aged man during a radical laparoscopic prostatectomy. We alleged that it was negligent to damage the bladder and bowel and that the subsequent repair was also carried out to a poor standard.

Supportive expert evidence was obtained from a urological surgeon and a colorectal surgeon.

This case was defended on the basis that the particular surgeon who performed that operation was a “high volume surgeon” (in other words a specialist) for this particular procedure which was rare at the time, and that the damage caused was not indicative of negligence and that the method of repair was accepted and recognized in “high volume” specialist centres.

We then had to obtain a second urological opinion from a “high volume surgeon” and it transpired that this was a very small group of surgeons at that stage because it was such a new and specialist procedure.

In any event the second opinion obtained was very supportive and raised additional criticisms of the treating surgeon. Fairly early in the proceedings the Defendant made a very low offer and indicated that they wished to explore settlement.

We served a full schedule of our client’s losses with supporting reports. The Defendant responded with a Counter Schedule (which is standard practice). The parties then attended a “round table meeting” to discuss settlement which was unsuccessful. However a telephone negotiation between the parties’ solicitors followed and the case settled in the sum of £325,000.00.