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Published On: February 14, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

Settlement Achieved for Unnecessary Private Surgeries

It is always distressing for someone to find out that there have been mistakes made in their medical care. When that medical care has been paid for privately, often at great personal expense, it can only serve to increase the stress and disappointment of the patient who has been badly let down. I recently acted for a client who, upon medical advice, privately funded and underwent three very expensive surgical procedures. She later discovered that two of the surgeries were wholly unnecessary, causing distressing and life-changing repercussions. I was pleased to obtain compensation for my client that represented a full reimbursement for the costs of the unnecessary surgeries, as well as an additional amount for the pain and suffering that they had caused her.


My client suffered with a recurring ovarian cyst. She was referred to a private gynaecologist (“the defendant”) for treatment. On two occasions, the defendant recommended aspirating the cyst i.e. draining it of fluid. My client followed this advice and underwent two aspiration surgeries at her own cost. Both surgeries were very unpleasant and draining for my client. In addition, she experienced abdominal pain for a number of months after the surgeries and the recurrence of the cyst caused her to be concerned that it could be cancerous.

My client’s ovarian cyst continued to recur. My client sought a second opinion from the defendant’s colleague. This colleague was surprised that my client had had her cyst aspirated on two previous occasions. His advice was that, as my client was post-menopausal, the best course of action was to perform a bilateral-oophorectomy (removal of my client’s ovaries and fallopian tubes). This would prevent the cyst recurring again and, most importantly, protect my client from the risk of ovarian cancer. My client agreed with this advice and had a third privately funded surgery.

The claim

My client instructed me to investigate a claim for clinical negligence. I obtained medical expert evidence that confirmed that, as my client had suspected, the advice to aspirate her cysts on the first two occasions had been negligent. Crucially, the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology guidelines only recommend conservative management of ovarian cysts in post-menopausal women in cases of advanced malignancy. The appropriate course of action for my client had always been an oophorectomy, as this was the best option for protecting my client from the risk of cancer.

Negotiation and Settlement

I was able to settle the claim without the need for my client to go through the stress of court proceedings. The settlement sum I obtained for my client reflected full compensation for the substantial financial losses she had incurred in self-funding the two unnecessary surgeries, as well an additional amount for the suffering caused during those surgeries and the abdominal pain she had experienced after them. Whilst my client remained very disappointed that her care had been so substandard, she was delighted with this result and she felt that it helped to put the matter behind her. I was very pleased to achieve this outcome for my client.

It can be challenging to extract concessions from defendants in clinical negligence matters, particularly where there are substantial financial losses at stake. The complex nature of this type work requires an experienced legal team that is well versed in navigating the intricacies of the legal landscape for medical negligence claims.

If you consider you may have been the victim of negligent medical care, whether privately or on the NHS, I would recommend contacting a legal professional to advise you on the merits of your potential claim and the steps involved in taking it forward.

* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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