If you are incontinent after a 3c tear, you need to find out whether your injury has been properly repaired.
If you discover that you have been the victim of an inadequate repair, you could be eligible to pursue a claim for compensation.
For more information on claiming compensation for a 3c tear, please get in touch with our team at Glynns Solicitors. We specialise in perineal injury claims and will be more than happy to advise you further.
What is a 3c tear?
A 3c tear is a type of third degree tear. A third degree tear is an injury sustained during a vaginal delivery. It involves the vaginal wall, perineum and anal sphincter. Third degree tears are further subdivided into 3a, 3b and 3c tears. Of these, a 3c tear is the worst and involves both the internal and external anal sphincter.
Diagnosing a 3c tear
A 3c tear should be diagnosed after the baby has been delivered. A midwife or doctor will examine the perineum and anal sphincter to check whether an injury has been sustained.
If a 3rd degree tear is identified, it is necessary to determine whether it is a 3a, 3b or 3c tear. It is important to get the classification correct as this will guide the repair.
Repairing a 3c tear
Once diagnosed, a patient should be sent to theatre for a repair. This will be conducted by a surgeon. The full length of the wound will be sutured together with dissolvable stitches.
Afterwards the surgeon must perform another examination, which should include a digital rectal examination. This is to make sure the entire injury has been successfully sutured. If this is not done, a gap could accidentally be left in the anal sphincter.
Incontinent after a 3c tear
If you have a 3c tear repaired but you begin to experience symptoms such as faecal urgency and incontinence, it may be that you have yet to regain normal function despite a good repair. The muscles are placed under great strain during birth, so it can take some time for things to heal. Pelvic floor muscles can help to strengthen the muscles.
However, it may also be that the repair was not of a good standard, meaning that part of the injury has not been stitched back together. If this does happen, you will be left with a gap in the anal sphincter, which will make it difficult to control the passage of wind and faeces.
Claiming for a poor repair
A poorly repaired 3c tear is often detected at a later date, normally when a patient seeks medical advice for her symptoms.
If you have been told that your 3c tear was not properly repaired after birth, you could be the victim of medical negligence. For more information on claiming compensation, please get in touch with us today.