We act for a number of clients who are pursuing medical negligence claims for a failure to remove all of their appendix during surgery. Most of these clients have been correctly diagnosed with appendicitis and have had their appendix removed. However, as the stump of the appendix has been left in situ, they have continued to suffer from ongoing abdominal pain and have subsequently required further investigations and surgery to remove the appendix stump.
One of these clients is a 27 year old woman who presented to A&E at the start of 2016 with symptoms of vomiting and severe pain in the right iliac fossa (the lower right side of the abdomen). These are both indications of appendicitis. She had laparoscopic surgery to remove her appendix but four months later her symptoms returned. As her hospital notes indicated that her appendix had been removed, appendicitis was excluded as a cause and she had to undergo various investigations and surgical procedures in order to rule out other possibilities, including a ruptured ovarian cyst and Crohn’s disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease). Whilst these investigations took place, she continued to be in significant pain and was unable to work.
Eventually she had another laparoscopic surgical procedure, during which an obvious appendix stump was found which measured approximately 3 cm. The stump was removed and her symptoms of appendicitis stopped. However, she continues to suffer from ongoing abdominal pain.
Having obtained supportive expert evidence from a general surgeon, we wrote to the defendant trust setting out our allegations of negligence. A few months later, NHS Resolution (which is investigating the matter on behalf of the trust) admitted that an incomplete appendicectomy had been performed which was negligent and that as a result, our client had suffered from additional pain and suffering and had required additional surgery.
In light of the admission, we requested a small interim payment so that our client could commence some private treatment for her abdominal pain whilst we quantified her claim. This was agreed and our client has seen some improvement in her symptoms. We are continuing to quantify her claim at present but hope to commence settlement negotiations very soon.