A third degree tear is a serious injury which can have an appalling long-term impact on the woman affected. A repair by a skilled and experienced surgeon in an operating theatre is necessary to try to achieve a full recovery.
3rd degree tear effects
A third degree tear is an injury in childbirth which damages the anal sphincter muscles. Many women suffer a tear to the perineum (area between the vagina and anus) during vaginal childbirth. Thankfully, far fewer experience a severe 3rd or 4th degree tear which extends to damage the anus.
A third degree tear can cause a woman to lose control of her bowel function. The anal sphincter muscles (both external and internal) are the muscles which control the passing of wind and faeces. If a woman loses this function, she will start to have difficulties in controlling when she goes to the toilet and passes wind.
She may find that she has very little time to reach a toilet when she starts to feel the need to defecate. This can be highly distressing and extremely inconvenient. In some cases women lose the ability to control the passing of wind and faeces completely and become incontinent.
Treating 3rd degree tears
A smaller birth injury such as a 1st or 2nd degree tear may need stitching but this can be carried out on the maternity ward and does not necessarily require the services of a skilled surgeon. A 3rd or 4th degree tear, however, is a far more serious injury and definitely does require skilled attention.
It is absolutely vital that an injury of this nature receives a prompt repair using appropriate techniques and materials.
A failure to repair the injury fully shortly after the birth may mean that any subsequent attempts to repair the wound will be less successful.
A failure to use the correct techniques and materials may mean that the repair breaks down and the woman begins to suffer symptoms as if it had not been done in the first place.
If you are suffering the shocking, long-term symptoms of incontinence or urgency because your 3rd degree tear was not properly diagnosed or treated, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation. If your current symptoms are attributable to failure by the medical professionals who attended your child’s birth, they may be regarded as having been negligent in their care of you.
As you can see from our website, we have supported numerous claims for negligence regarding birth tears and we would be happy to advise you.
Contact us to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.
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If you, or your family member, has suffered a birth injury tear, please call us now for free, no obligation advice on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile click to call 01275 334030) or complete our Free Online Enquiry.