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Medical Negligence
Gallbladder Surgery

Gallbladder Surgery

The removal of the gallbladder is considered to be a safe procedure, with complications occurring in only around 5% of cases. However, as with all surgery there are risks, particularly if due care is not taken during the operation.

Why Might a Gallbladder Need to be Removed?

The gallbladder is a bile-storing pouch located in the abdomen. Bile, which helps the liver to break down fatty foods, is made up of three elements: cholesterol, bile salts and waste products. Should these substances become imbalanced, it is possible for small, hard stones to develop within the gallbladder. These can either cause no problems and thus remain undetected, or can lead to symptoms such as:-

  • Pain;
  • Fever;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Jaundice.

If gallstones are causing a patient to suffer, then an operation to remove the gallbladder may be advised a procedure known medically as a 'cholecystectomy'.

Surgery to Remove the Gallbladder

A cholecystectomy can be performed in one of two ways:-

1. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy
A laparoscopic (keyhole) cholecystectomy is the recommended method of gallbladder removal. The procedure involves a surgeon making a number of small incisions in your abdomen before inserting thin tubes with cameras attached. This allows the medical team to view the inside of the abdomen and remove the gallbladder without having to carry out open surgery.

2. Open cholecystectomy
With an open cholecystectomy, one large cut is made across the abdomen, and the gallbladder is then removed. However, this type of surgery is more invasive and requires a longer recovery period. Therefore open surgery is usually only recommended if you have previously had an extensive operation on your abdomen, or if a problem arises during a keyhole cholecystectomy and it is necessary to convert to an open procedure.

After the removal of the gallbladder, a patient may suffer side-effects such as: sickness (from the anaesthetic), diahorrea (from the bile irritating the digestive system) and pain in the shoulders and abdomen (from gas that is used during the operation to inflate the abdomen). These symptoms should however be temporary, and most patients will begin to feel better in around 7-10 days.

Gallbladder Surgery and Complications

In around 5% of cases, complications will arise as a result of gallbladder surgery. These include:-

  • Haemorrhage during the operation;
  • Infection;
  • Bile leakage which should be prevented by placing clips onto the tube connecting the gallbladder to bile duct;
  • Injury to the bile duct;
  • Injury to intestine, bowel and blood vessels;
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis.

Gallbladder Surgery and Medical Negligence

Should you suffer complications because the treatment you received during gallbladder surgery fell below an acceptable standard, there may be a case of medical negligence. In such an event, you need to speak to a medical negligence solicitor for more information. However, if it can be proven your pain and suffering was caused by the poor level of care provided, you could make a claim. If successful, you will be awarded compensation to recover your losses.

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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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