Gall bladder surgery and common bile duct injury negligence

I’ve seen firsthand what someone with a gallbladder problem feels like.

The gallbladder is a small organ under the liver that plays a role in digestion. Gallbladder pain typically has a sudden onset, centered in the upper right part of the abdomen. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fever or chills, and an overall feeling that something is terribly wrong. Some people start hyperventilating, which only makes the overall sensation worse.

There are several potential causes of gallbladder pain, the most common include:

• Gallstones: These are similar to kidney stones. They’re solid deposits that form and collect in the gallbladder.

• Cholecystitis: this is inflammation of the gallbladder, which can be caused by gallstones or other conditions.

• Obstruction of the common bile duct.

Other causes of gallbladder pain include cancer, calcium deposits that stiffen the gallbladder walls, and polyps.

Once a patient’s symptoms trigger a differential diagnosis of a gallbladder condition, the doctor will typically order diagnostic radiology tests, such as an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI scan, to make the correct diagnosis.

After one episode of gallbladder gallstones, the likelihood that it will repeat itself is high. That’s why surgeons frequently recommend having the gallbladder removed in a surgery that’s called a cholecystectomy.

Around 20 million people in the United States have gallstones, and there are about 300,000 gallbladder surgeries (cholecystectomies) performed annually. Most of them are performed with a minimally invasive laparoscopic technique.

With any surgery, some risks are unavoidable. Some, though, can be avoidable with careful attention. One complication that should be avoided with proper surgical technique is transecting or cutting the common bile duct.

Bile is a digestive juice that’s made in the liver and sent through bile ducts to the intestines. When the common bile duct is cut, bile is blocked or leaks into the abdomen, where it can cause an infection and even death if not promptly repaired and treated.

Because this is such a serious and dreaded disease, the standard of care requires surgeons to take extra caution. The medical literature is clear that surgeons must conclusively identify the cystic duct and artery in every laparoscopic cholecystectomy. It is dangerous and negligence to proceed without taking these steps.

If you’ve had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder surgery) in Texas that ended with a bile duct injury, contact a top-rated experienced Texas medical malpractice lawyer for a free consultation about your potential case.

Robert Painter
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Robert Painter

Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas. Contact him for a free consultation and strategy session by calling 281-580-8800 or emailing him right now.