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Jonathan Zimmern successfully reached settlement for a client left with a permanent stoma after his surgeon at the Royal London Hospital severed his only remaining ureter during a Hartmann's procedure.

GC was born without a right kidney, meaning he had only one ureter connecting his single kidney to his bladder.

In January 2010, GC was admitted to the Royal London Hospital with lower abdominal pains. A CT scan showed that he was suffering from a small bowel obstruction. He was taken for a Hartmann's procedure and told he would require a temporary, reversible stoma. 

During the operation however, the surgeon negligently severed his only ureter.  Although the Urologist successfully reconstructed the bladder wall, he was unable to maintain the supply from the ureter to the bladder. This meant that any attempt to reverse the stoma would be impossible. Following the operation, GC was led to believe that the injury to the ureter was caused by the bowel obstruction. He was not told that reversal of the stoma was impossible.

The following year, GC subsequently underwent an attempted reversal of the stoma under a different surgeon but this was abandoned as it became apparent that reversal was impossible and a permanent stoma was inserted. 

GC now has to live with a stoma for the rest of his life. The bag sometimes leaks. He no longer has the confidence to travel far from his home and has been unable to return to work full-time. 

GC instructed Jonathan Zimmern to investigate his claim. Jonathan instructed experts in Radiology and General Surgery who were critical of the treatment GC received. The hospital continued to deny liability throughout proceedings.  Despite this, an out-of-court settlement was eventually agreed for £75,000.

Image credit: By Matt From London [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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