Our specialist medical negligence team recently handled a successful vaginal surgery negligence claim on behalf of a young woman.
The following case study outlines the medical and legal issues that arose. If you are thinking about making a similar claim and would like to speak in confidence to a female member of our team then please call our free legal helpline on 0800 955 1038.
Background to the case
When she was 12 years old she complained to her mother that one side of her labia was larger than the other and this was causing her pain and discomfort. Her mother asked her GP whether her daughter’s genitals were ‘normal’ for a female of that age. The GP reassured her that everyone grew at different rates so there was nothing to worry about. However, over the following months the girl continued to suffer discomfort and this impacted on her school life.
She was therefore referred to a Gynaecologist for a specialist medical opinion as to whether anything could be done to help. The Gynaecologist confirmed that one side of her labia was abnormally larger than the other side and he could therefore operate and trim the labia minora in order that it did not protrude and cause the discomfort she had been experiencing. Our client’s mother felt that as this was specialist medical advice she should agree to her daughter undergoing vaginal surgery.
After the operation, our client had Vicryl stitches the length of her vagina. Her clitoris was also stitched, even though the aim of the operation was only to make her labia minora symmetrical, deterring one side of the labia minora from protruding the outer lip. Although the girl did not suffer further discomfort from her labia minora after the surgery, her clitoris became very sensitive.
Problems following vaginal surgery
Approximately three years later, our client again began to suffer discomfort from her genitals. This again began to affect her school life. Her mother went to her GP and a consultant referral was made. However, the girl was informed that the procedure which had previously been carried out was no longer available under the NHS. She was therefore advised to seek further medical treatment to make her labia symmetrical on a privately paying basis. It was then confirmed that one side of her labia minora was entirely absent. Further surgery was refused as it was deemed not required on medical grounds.
Read the full article here.