Gallbladder Removal Malpractice
Trusting a doctor or health care professional with your health is difficult enough. When that doctor violates your trust, it can be hard to know what to do. Suing a doctor for substandard care is called medical malpractice. Suing for medical malpractice is your right as a patient.
Too often people undergo gallbladder surgery that ends up hurting them more than before. This injury is usually preventable, and the fact that the injury happened is an indication of sub-par care. The effect of an improper gallbladder surgery can be permanent and life-threatening.
Gallbladder surgery mistakes are:
If the surgeon follows his or her proper training, instruction, and techniques, most gallbladder surgery mistakes are preventable. However, when surgeons abandon those things, serious complications can result from mistakes during gallbladder surgery. These complications can include the need for a liver transplant and/or death. Common complications include bile duct injuries, bowel perforation, excessive bleeding, and burns to the hepatic ducts.
Cutting the Hepatic Duct or Bile Duct
Doctors are trained to first get the “critical view,” or to visualize a patient’s anatomy before performing surgery. This way surgeons will never cut anything without first knowing what they’re cutting. Sadly, many surgeons rush to complete the surgery and make assumptions about a patient’s anatomy. Too often surgeons cut the common hepatic duct instead of the cystic duct.
When this mistake happens, different injuries to the bile duct can occur. These injuries are usually avoidable and are typically caused because the surgeon cut without being able to see what they were cutting. Surgeons are trained to remove all tissue except for the cystic duct and artery, so they can see the liver bed and then carefully identify all structures between the gallbladder and liver. These safety procedures are so important that doctors are supposed to document them when they perform them.
Failing to Convert the Laparoscopic Procedure to an Open Surgery
Surgeons have options for identifying complications during the procedure, such as a use of a cholangiogram or an ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram). Between 2% and 15% of gallbladder removals are converted to an open procedure. Yet, doctors often ignore the signs of a problem and complete the surgery anyway. When surgeons forego these preventative steps, patients can develop severe complications, including infection, cholangitis, sepsis, and even death.
Gallbladder removal, or cholecystectomy is one of the most common surgical procedures in the U.S. An estimated 750,000 people undergo a gallbladder removal every year. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most misunderstood and improperly performed surgeries. A cholecystectomy can be needed for gallstones, gallbladder inflammation, or pancreatic inflammation from gallstones.
Surgical removal of the gallbladder is often necessary for these conditions. Surgeons have two options when performing a gallbladder removal: an open procedure or a laparoscopic procedure. An open cholecystectomy is what is typically thought of as gallbladder removal. The surgeon opens up your abdominal cavity and removes your gallbladder. The open cholecystectomy is much more invasive than the laparoscopic procedure, and the recovery time for the open procedure is significant.
Alternatively, surgeons can also perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, in which surgeons use minimally-invasive tools to remove the gallbladder. Because of the shorter surgical time and recovery time, most surgeons will try to perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy over the open procedure when possible. Around 90% of all gallbladder surgeries done in the U.S. every year are done laparoscopically. However, the overall serious complication rate for laparoscopic procedure is actually higher than the rate in the open procedure.
However, the laparoscopic procedure is not without its own risks. Namely, surgeons who are not specially trained in the laparoscopic procedure may not be able to properly identify the gallbladder structures before attempting removal. If a surgeon cuts any structure in the gallbladder without first properly identifying the anatomy, that surgeon risks significant complications including death.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve think I am the victim of medical malpractice. What should I do?
Call the attorneys at Nabers Law Firm for a free evaluation of your potential medical malpractice case. We can assist you in determining your rights, seeking compensation, and filing a claim against the doctor or healthcare providers who might be at fault.
What are my rights as a patient?
You have the right to file a lawsuit against the doctor or healthcare provider, you have a right to view your medical records, and you have a right to file a complaint with the medical board that oversees that particular provider.
How much will it cost to talk to an attorney?
Nothing. Nabers Law Firm offers a free case evaluation, with no cost to you.
What laws protect individuals against age medical malpractice?
Various state laws protect individuals against medical malpractice, including commons laws dealing with negligence, medical negligence, negligence per se, etc. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 74 lays out additional requirements patients must follow to bring a lawsuit against a provider.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
The statute of limitations varies by state, with some states requiring a lawsuit within one year of the malpractice. As time is always an important factor in filing a lawsuit, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to determine whether or not you have a medical malpractice case.
Why should I choose Nabers Law Firm?
The attorneys at Nabers Law Firm have over 25 years’ experience handling medical malpractice claims, including claims against surgeons performing gallbladder removals. This expertise, along with an on-site nurse paralegal, provides the best support for victims of medical malpractice.