While laparoscopic surgery is now a routine operation, there are still risks and potential complications with the procedure.  Surgeons typically perform gallbladder surgery with this type of procedure, also called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (lap chole). While most of these surgeries are uneventful, there is a risk for cutting the bile duct and this can result in significant harm to the patient.

The image shows a gallbladder surgery

How is a Gallbladder Removed?

There are two ways that a surgeon can use to remove the gallbladder.  There are risks to cutting the common bile duct with both methods. Laparoscopic surgeries are performed by inserting a small camera and surgical tools through a small incision.   A successful surgery allows for less time under anesthesia and a faster recovery period.

In some circumstances, the surgeon will remove a gallbladder with a traditional surgery.  This involves making a single incision in the abdomen and then removing the gallbladder through the incision.

What is the Bile Duct?

The biliary tract consists of small tubes (ducts) that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and then to the small intestine.  It stores bile, which is needed for digestion and absorption of fats in the small intestine. Many waste products are eliminated from the body by secretion into bile and elimination in feces.

A bile duct can be mistakenly be cut by the surgeon. When this happens, bile will leak into the abdomen or block the normal flow of bile from the liver. This can lead to symptoms, including:

    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal pain and swelling
    • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Jaundice

In addition to these symptoms, a patient might experience a high white blood count (WBC).  This is a strong indicator to a physician that an injury to the bile duct occurred during a procedure.

Is it Negligence to Cut a Bile Duct During Surgery?

A surgeon should identify the bile duct during the surgery and avoid cutting it.  However, this injury can happen even when the surgeon is being careful.  Medical negligence often occurs when the surgeon and nursing staff do not closely monitor the patient post-operatively to identify signs and symptoms of a common bile duct injury. If this condition is not timely diagnosed and treated, the results can be catastrophic or deadly.

Can I File a Gallbladder Surgery Malpractice Lawsuit?

The failure to properly diagnose and treat a bile duct injury can result in the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit.  These lawsuits seek compensation for the pain and suffering, disability, medical expenses and other damages caused by the negligence.  In cases involving the death of the patient, our lawyers file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Call Our Gallbladder Surgery Injury Lawyers

If you or a family member was the victim of medical malpractice due to gallbladder surgery error, you should contact our law firm office immediately to discuss your case. There are strict time limitations for filing medical malpractice cases in Michigan and if you wait too long, your case may be barred forever.

We will represent you under our No Fee Promise, which means there are no legal fees or costs until we win you a settlement.  For your Free, No Obligation Case Review, call us today!

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