Negligent Colonoscopy Claims Resulting in Bowel Perforation

One of the primary risks associated with colonoscopies is what is known as perforation of the bowel. This is when a section of the large intestine is cut or torn during a procedure such as surgery, colonoscopy, or laparoscopy or keyhole surgery.

If a colonoscopy is performed negligently and avoidable mistakes were made resulting in a tear or cut in the bowels, there are likely to be grounds for a colonoscopy compensation claim.

The risks of bowel perforation

There are always risks associated with a medical procedure. A colonoscopy is an explorative tool used to diagnose many conditions such as polyps and bowel cancer. Although most colonoscopies take place without any problems, there is a risk of the bowel being cut during the procedure. However when a colonoscopy is conducted in association with therapeutic treatments such as a polypectomy or biopsy, the risk of bowel perforation significantly increases. The risk of a bowel perforation is also higher in patients with bowel conditions and disease such as bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis.

It is therefore important that colonoscopy patients are made aware of these risks, and counseled on the post-procedure signs to look out for. 

If a bowel perforation is not repaired in time this could lead to fluid and fecal material entering the abdominal cavity, resulting in a serious infection such as sepsis and possibly even death.

Compensation for a negligent colonoscopy

If you or a family member sustained a cut or perforated bowel during a colonoscopy you could be entitled to compensation for the injury, the pain and suffering resulting from the injury and loss of income or earnings if you unable to return to work for some time.

At Devonshires Claims, our experienced medical negligence solicitors can advise and represent you in a colonoscopy negligence claim. We have worked with victims of medical negligence from all parts of the England and Wales and will fight tenaciously to obtain justice and compensation for you and your family.

Our medical claims experts offer a ‘No Win No Fee‘ agreement for surgical and colonoscopy error claims as well as access to a network of highly specialized medical experts and barristers. For more information or to request your free no-obligation case evaluation please contact us on 0333 900 8787, email or complete our online form.

Read our FAQs

Colonoscopies are procedures that utilise a flexible narrow tube (endoscope) equipped with a small camera. Using this device, a doctor can look inside your bowels for signs of cancer or disease or diagnose a variety of issues such as polyps.

One serious risk associated with a colonoscopy is the bowel being cut or torn during the procedure leading to a hole.

In a perforated bowel, fluid and fecal material may pass through the hole and flow into the abdominal cavity. Eventually bacteria in the fluid and fecal material may leech into the bloodstream and this could result in severe infections and potentially fatal conditions such as sepsis and peritonitis.

Other complications associated with a colonoscopy include:

  • Breathing problems – This is usually caused by a reaction to the sedation, which can impact your heart rate and respiratory function.
  • Bleeding – This is common when polyps are removed or biopsies are done. It usually stops on its own, but further complications can occur.
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort associated with the carbon dioxide used to inflate the area in order to allow the surgeon to view the internal organs more clearly.


Some common symptoms of a bowel perforation or cut include:

  • Emphysema or difficulty in breathing
  • A swollen neck
  • Collapsed lung
  • Abdominal and chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Abnormal vital signs
  • Fever

A perforated bowel is considered a medical emergency.

A perforation of the bowel is not usually, in itself, enough to bring a successful claim. For example, errors can occur during surgery or a colonoscopy which are identified and repaired fast enough that the patient does not require any additional treatment.

However, if avoidable errors were made during a colonoscopy and this negligence results in a chronic or dangerous health condition, or death, there are likely to be grounds to make a colonoscopy negligence claim.

For more information on making a compensation claim, contact our bowel injury experts today to start your free no-obligation case evaluation.

Yes; Devonshires Claims can provide:

  • A ‘No Win – No Fee’ claims service for bowel surgery compensation claims.
  • A ‘No Win No Fee’ arrangement is also known as a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’. Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you will not be charged any legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful*.

For more information on our ‘No Win – No Fee’ agreement, please click here.

Compensation claims for a negligent colonoscopy which has resulted in your bowels being cut or torn not only reflect the physical and mental pain and suffering experienced (together with compensation for financial and other loses) but also:

  • Allow you to obtain justice for the mistreatment and negligence you experienced
  • Highlight failings in clinical practice, standards of care and protocols
  • Provide you and your family with an explanation of the incident and an apology if shortcomings are acknowledged

The amount paid in compensation will depend on several factors:

  • Your pain and suffering
  • Your prognosis
  • The impact of the delay and/or negligence on your health and quality of life – including current and future care requirements, medical aids, home adaptations or other necessary assistance
  • Any financial losses you have incurred as a result of the injuries – including past loss of earnings, medical expenses, travel expenses and equipment costs
  • Any related future financial losses, e.g. loss of wages, loss of promotion prospects, pension

Compensation for medical negligence injury fall into two main categories:

  • General compensation (General Damages): this includes compensation for pain and suffering and the impact of the trauma on lifestyle and quality of life.
  • Financial losses and expenses (Special Damages): these include the costs associated with private treatment, care support, travel expenses, other medical expenses, specialist equipment and loss of income.


How to claim compensation for a negligent colonoscopy

No medical procedure is without risk. However, when done correctly, most doctors can minimise the chances of a perforated bowel during a colonoscopy. However, accidents do happen.

If you or a loved one has suffered a perforated bowel due to a negligently performed colonoscopy, our medical claims experts can help you obtain the compensation you deserve to help you recover both physically and financially.

Devonshires Claims’ medical negligence solicitors are members of the Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

Our colonoscopy compensation claims service provides:

  • A free no-obligation case evaluation
  • Advice on the probability of success for a bowel injury claim and the amount of compensation you could potentially obtain
  • Friendly, compassionate and experienced claims experts
  • No Win No Fee agreement i.e. you will not incur any costs if your claim is not successful*.
  • Access to a network of medical experts and specialist barristers

Our experts work hard to secure victims of medical negligence the justice and compensation they deserve.

To start your colonoscopy negligence claim contact our experienced medical negligence solicitors today. Call us on 0333 900 8787, email or complete our online form.

Client Stories

Delayed diagnosis of Crohn’s disease resulted in permanent ileostomy


This was a case of a young woman who had acute presentation of severe Crohn’s disease which was not diagnosed definitively until her late re-representation with life-threatening complications. The delay in diagnosis led to the development of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a colonoscopy and the client suffering from a permanent ileostomy.


The claim settled for £80,000 during mediation

£2 million compensation for negligent hospital treatment resulting in air embolism and stroke


Claim following removal of a central line with the patient sat in a chair. This led to an air embolism and stroke which caused a somatoform pain disorder and permanent disability.  This is one of the NHS’s 10 “never events.”


£2 million made up of compensation for the injury, past and future loss of earnings, care and equipment , treatment and the additional cost of suitable housing.

Compensation For Negligently Performed Hernia Repair Surgery


Legal Action following negligently performed hernia repair resulting in bladder prolapsing into the client’s scrotum.


Currently valued at £250,000

What our clients say:
I found Devonshires responsive and accommodating on both counts. Alongside trying to make sure the client gets the right result, they provide the necessary level of support throughout the process and, in my experience, the advice is timely and responsive. I would like to thank the team for all the effort everyone put in and for achieving a great result for me and my family. - J.P.
I would certainly recommend them to anyone I know. They still believed in my case even when the other side declined neglect. They were willing to go to court but luckily the defence paid out without this being the case. I am extremely grateful for the support they gave all the way through the claim. - M.G.
I would like to thank Devonshire Claims, for the prompt and thoughtful, handling of my claim. I received great customer service, there was always someone at the end of the phone, to explain, details to me, answer questions, and keep me updated as to what was happening and when I was very happy with the service, and I highly recommend. - L.W.

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