Litigation of laparoscopic major vessel injuries in Canada

J Am Assoc Gynecol Laparosc. 2000 Nov;7(4):503-9. doi: 10.1016/s1074-3804(05)60363-5.


This study is a review of conditions and circumstances associated with 15 injuries to great vessels during laparoscopic surgery. Thirteen cases were litigated in Canada and two occurred in the author's operating room. Body habitus may have been an underlying factor in the injuries. Most injuries were entry related and independent on complexity of surgery. One was caused by the Veress needle and one by a secondary trocar, and three occurred during dissection of adhesions. Ten were primary trocar injuries, 9 after pneumoperitoneum and 1 at direct trocar insertion. Of these, five were caused by reusable and five by disposable trocars with so-called safety shields. In 6 of 15 cases recognition of the injury was delayed; 5 in the recovery room. Eleven women had uncomplicated recovery. Of 13 litigated cases, 8 (62%) resulted in settlement.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Legal Case
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / diagnosis*
  • Genital Diseases, Female / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease
  • Iliac Artery / injuries*
  • Intraoperative Complications / diagnosis*
  • Intraoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Jurisprudence
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Medical Errors / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Middle Aged