Each year, thousands of patients undergo gallbladder surgeries. Many of these operations are done laparoscopically, meaning the surgery is performed through small incisions in the abdomen with aid of a camera, rather than completely opening the abdomen. These types of surgeries usually have fewer risks because surgeons only need to make several small incisions; however, that doesn’t mean these operations are immune to medical error. Many patients who undergo a laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder, called lap chole surgery, suffer additional life-threatening complications when the surgeon also clips the bile duct.
Lap Chole Injuries
While laparoscopic surgeries can reduce bleeding risks and shorten recovery times, they take an incredible amount of skill to perform, and even the most skilled surgeon can make a mistake that ends up harming patients. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons in 2011, the rate of bile duct injuries has increased since the introduction of the laparoscopic procedure.
Because surgeons rely on small cameras to guide them while performing a lap chole procedure, it is extra important for surgeons to operate cautiously. While cameras do allow for laparoscopic procedures, surgeons have a limited field of vision. Injuries often occur because the surgeon cannot properly see the anatomy inside the patient and does not correctly identify the anatomy of the biliary system. This leads to injuries in the bile duct. The bile duct carries bile to and from the gallbladder, so it is in extremely close proximity to the gallbladder and surgeons can injure the bile duct if they are not careful.
Patients that suffer bile duct injuries during a lap chole procedure face a long road to recovery. Patients might need additional surgeries and reconstructions to correct the damage, and not all patients will recover completely. Without a properly functioning bile duct, patients may face additional complications like liver failure or bile peritonitis.
Lap Chole Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love suffered a lap chole injury, contact Blizzard Law today. Our experienced lap chole injury attorneys can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.