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Medical Negligence
Bile Duct Injuries

Bile Duct Injuries

Bile duct injuries are a serious and life-threatening complication of abdominal surgery particularly gallbladder surgery. Such an injury must be recognised and repaired straight away if a patient is going to make a full recovery. If there is a delay, the consequences could be devastating.

Bile duct injuries during surgery

The bile duct is a collection of long, narrow tubes that carries bile from the liver to the gallbladder, and then on to the pancreas and small intestine. It has a crucial role as bile (which is made in the liver) must be transported to the pancreas and small intestine for the digestion of food. Without it a number of complications would ensue.

However, the bile duct is extremely vulnerable during abdominal surgery as it lies very close to certain structures, most notably the gallbladder. This danger is even greater with laparoscopic procedures, known more commonly as keyhole surgery.

Are bile duct injuries negligent?

It is very easy for the surgeon to accidentally nick or cut the bile duct while attempting to remove the gallbladder (or operate on another organ). Even with the utmost skill and expertise it can be difficult to avoid causing such an injury.

Therefore the occurrence of a bile duct injury in itself will not necessarily amount to negligence. The only exception to this is if the surgeon was not acting with due care and attention.

There may also be a case of negligence if the injury was not detected and appropriately repaired. If the bile duct is damaged during surgery, this should be identified during the course of the procedure and a repair performed immediately. This is a complex procedure so assistance from an experienced surgeon may be required.

Claiming for bile duct injuries

Early recognition and treatment from a multi-disciplinary team are essential if a patient is going to recover from a bile duct injury sustained during surgery. If there is a failure to diagnose the injury within a reasonable amount of time, or if the correct course of treatment is not provided, a patient will become extremely unwell. This will result in a prolonged recovery and could even be fatal.

If you or your loved one has sustained a bile duct injury during surgery and this was not diagnosed and repaired appropriately you will be able to make a claim for the terrible pain and suffering that has been caused.

Talk to a solicitor about bile duct injuries

To find out more about claiming compensation for bile duct injuries, do not hesitate to talk to a solicitor today.

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