A poorly-repaired anal sphincter injury can leave the new mother with a catalogue of lifelong symptoms rendering her unable to work or care for her baby as she might have wished.
A poor anal sphincter repair
If you suffered a severe perineal tear during the birth of your baby, such as a 3rd or 4th degree tear, you probably underwent surgery to have your injury repaired. You may be surprised, therefore, if you are continuing to experience unpleasant bowel and perineal symptoms. If this is the case, it could be that your repair was not carried out competently and has not, in fact, resolved your original injury.
A third or fourth degree tear must be diagnosed with absolute accuracy. Only then is it likely that a full repair will be carried out. However, the repair itself requires the skill of a surgeon experienced in that specific area of work in order achieve a thorough and competent repair.
A 3c tear causes slightly different damage to a 3a or 3b tear. And a 4th degree tear, again, causes damage additional to a 3rd degree tear. The techniques and materials required to repair these varying areas of damage differ accordingly and a failure to employ appropriate methods can have long-term catastrophic results.
If your third or fourth degree tear has been incompetently repaired, you may be experiencing some of the following symptoms:
- Urgency when needing to go to the toilet
- Infections of the perineum – the area between the vagina and anus
- Leakage of faeces from the anus
- Inability to control wind
If you are experiencing leakage of wind and faeces via the vagina, it may be that you have developed a fistula between the rectum and vagina. If this is the case, it may be that your original tear was misdiagnosed or it may be that your injury was not fully repaired.
Unfortunately, although it may be possible for you to undergo further surgery to try to repair any outstanding problems, delayed surgery is generally less successful than had it been done effectively at the time of the birth.
The impact of a poor repair
The impact of long-term anal injury symptoms can be extremely distressing as well as severely limiting what you may feel able to do.
Many women find that their lives seem to revolve around access to the toilet and travelling, socialising and working can become very difficult. Appropriate and accessible work may become hard to find and your earning capacity may be affected.
Psychologically, the impact of anal sphincter injuries can be significant, too.
If your anal injury was misdiagnosed or your repair was incompetent, you may be suffering with the above-mentioned symptoms. If this is the case, you might wish to consider making a claim for compensation.
Contact us to discuss your situation with a medical negligence solicitor who specialises in perineal tear compensation claims.
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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.