Sterilization Failure - Malpractice Lawyers Compensation ClaimLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
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Sterilization Failure - Medical Malpractice
There are two kinds of sterilization: female sterilization, called a tubal ligation, and male sterilization, called a vasectomy. Both kinds of sterilization are, for the most part, effective in preventing pregnancy but have their own risks and benefits. Sometimes it is the woman who has the sterilization and other times it is the male in the partner who has the sterilization procedure. The highest failure rate of the two is tubal ligation.
A tubal ligation can be performed as a separate procedure or during a caesarean section. If done separately, a small incision is made beneath the umbilicus. A laparoscope can be used to find the tubes, manipulate them, tie them off, cut them and burn the cut ends. Other times, the doctor fishes out the tube using a hook and does the procedure at the level of the incision. In both cases, the tube is cut, tied off and burned at the ends of the cut ends so that there is a minimal chance of the tube growing back together. The ovaries and uterus are left intact but pregnancy cannot happen because the tubes are now blocked.
Even if the tubal ligation goes perfectly, the fallopian tubes can reconnect themselves in the future and can result in a pregnancy. Tubal ligations are not foolproof. The failure rate of a tubal ligation is about one in 200 tubal ligations. To help reduce the chances of a tubal ligation failure, the surgeon should take a section out of the tube they cut to make sure that the thing they cut was absolutely the fallopian tube under the microscope. If the tissue does not show the fallopian tube in the microscopic evaluation, then the tubal ligation was not successful and it needs to be repeated. This is a common mistake surgeons make at the time of a tubal ligation.
Tubal ligation has its risks. There are infection complications that occur with any surgery. The surgeon can puncture the bowel or bladder, leading to peritonitis, which can lead to sepsis and death. The surgeon can cause excessive bleeding that doesn't stop or isn't noticed until it is too late. Anaesthetic risks are possible, such as an allergy to the anaesthetic medications. You can have problems with your heart during anaesthesia and you can have pneumonia from being intubated during the procedure. Tubal pregnancies can occur due to a partially reconnected tube that causes the egg to fertilize but not to pass through to the partially closed fallopian tube.
Male sterilization is known as a vasectomy. It is an outpatient procedure done under local anaesthesia. It is done at the doctor's office or at a freestanding surgery centre. Two small cuts are made on either side of the midline. The cuts are made above the scrotum after local anaesthesia is given. The surgeon isolates a bundle of nerves, blood vessels and the vas deferens. The vas deferens is located and isolated from the rest of the tubes. It is then tied and cut or clips are used to clip off the vas deferens and separate it from the other half of the tube. The incision is around a centimetre in length and it is then sutured shut. The doctor will have the sections of the tube looked at under the microscope to make sure that the vas deferens was indeed cut and separated.
The major risk factors for vasectomy include infection of the incision, bleeding complications, damage to the nerves supplying the testicles or cutting the wrong thing. If there is infection, it is usually minor and treated with antibiotics and local heat.
Vasectomies are not immediately successful. It takes about twenty ejaculations to clear out the residual sperm that has already passed the point of the vasectomy. Doctors often do a repeat sperm analysis to see whether or not there are viable sperm after about three to six months. You need to negative tests of ejaculate to determine that the vasectomy was successful. The failure rate of a vasectomy is fairly low at around 1 in 2000 cases.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125