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Gallbladder Surgery Negligence

Gallbladder Surgery Negligence

If you have suffered due to gallbladder surgery, you may wonder whether or not you were the victim of medical negligence. To help you find the information you need, this article looks at gallbladder surgery in more detail, exploring why you might suffer an injury and who is to blame.

Gallbladder Removal

The gallbladder is where the body stores bile. But why might it need to be removed? The most common reason can be attributed to gallstones. These occur when there is an imbalance of substances in the bile (which consists of bile salts, cholesterol and waste products). This in turn causes small, hard stones to form. While these can cause no problems at all, there are times in which they block the bile duct. If this happens, someone will soon begin to suffer symptoms such as pain, fever, nausea, jaundice and vomiting. In such cases, a patient may need to have their gallbladder removed. This operation is called a cholecystectomy.

Gallbladder Surgery

Around 90% of cholecystectomies are carried out via laparoscopy, or 'keyhole surgery'. The alternative is to perform open surgery, but this carries more risks and so is only done where necessary. For example, if someone has previously had abdominal surgery or if something goes amiss during keyhole surgery.

During a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the patient will be put under general anaesthetic before a number of small cuts are made to their abdomen. The surgical team will then pass small tubes with cameras attached to the end through the incisions. These will relay images of the patient's internal organs onto a large screen, allowing the surgeon to start removing the gallbladder. This is usually done by first clipping the cystic artery and cystic duct (to ensure bile does not leak) and then detaching the gallbladder itself.

Injuries From Gallbladder Surgery

As with all surgery, a cholecystectomy can lead to a patient sustaining an injury during the operation. Most commonly, this injury will be to the bile duct, or to the intestines and bowel. If this is not noticed during surgery, a patient will need to have another operation to repair the damage. Furthermore, there is the risk that the major blood vessels will be damaged, such as the common iliac artery and the aorta. If this happens, it could be fatal.

A patient may also start to display signs of complication after surgery. For example, if the clips were not attached properly, bile may start to leak into the abdominal cavity. Or an infection may develop.

Does This Amount To Medical Negligence?

The removal of the gallbladder does have known risks, and a patient should be told about these before consenting to the operation. However, there are cases in which someone suffers an injury during a cholecystectomy because of a substandard level of care. In such an event, the patient may be the victim of medical negligence.

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Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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