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Obtaining Valid Consent for Complex Gynaecological Surgery (Clinical Governance Advice No. 6b)

Published: 20/08/2010

This is the first edition of this guidance, which is complementary to other specific RCOG procedure-based Consent Advice.

This paper should be read in conjunction with and in addition to RCOG Clinical Governance Advice No. 6: Obtaining Valid Consent.

The purpose of this advice is to provide a good practice framework for obtaining valid consent from women who undergo complex gynaecological surgery. Many of the specific points of advice will apply to both complex laparoscopic and complex open surgery; however, the significant differences between the two access methods in terms of risks and benefits should be carefully explained.

The aim of this paper is to ensure that all women are given consistent and adequate information for consent. It is intended to be used together with dedicated procedure-specific patient information. It is optimal for the person obtaining consent to be the lead operating surgeon rather than someone trained in obtaining consent but unable to carry out such surgery. Before discharge, all women should receive clear information about how to obtain help if there are unforeseen problems when at home.