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Infection After Gallbladder Removal

Gallbladder removal is considered to be a safe and quick procedure. There are, however, some risks that a patient needs to be aware of before consenting to surgery, one of which is the possibility of infection.

If this has happened to you, you may have suffered an unfortunate but unavoidable side-effect of gallbladder surgery. On the other hand, if it is found that doctors failed to do enough to prevent your infection, you could be the victim of medical negligence.

Infection after gallbladder surgery

Surgery to remove the gallbladder (known medically as a cholecystectomy) is one of the most common operations in the UK, with the NHS performing some 60,000 gallbladder removals each year.,/

As with all surgical procedures, there are a handful of risks that should be discussed with a patient in advance of the operation. One of these is the risk that the wound will become infected post-operatively. This will happen in around one in 15 cholecystectomies, and will cause the patient to experience symptoms such as:-

  • Pain and tenderness around the site of incision;
  • Redness and hot skin around the site of incision;
  • Discharge from the wound;
  • Vomiting;
  • Fever;
  • Diarrhoea.

Should a patient display such symptoms after gallbladder surgery, medical professionals should be quick to administer a course of antibiotics. To be sure the problem doesn't derive from a more sinister type of bacteria that causes serious infections such as Necrotising Fasciitis, healthcare staff should also swab the wound and have the results analysed in the laboratory. If there is any suspicion that the tissue is becoming necrotic, a patient must undergo a secondary procedure to remove the affected tissue and drain the wound.

Does an infection after gallbladder surgery amount to negligence?

Post-operative infection is, therefore, a known risk of gallbladder surgery. This means it does not necessarily amount of medical negligence.

However, serious questions will be raised if a patient is known to have health issues that contribute towards the risk of infection. For example, diabetes and obesity both dramatically increase the likelihood of post-operative infection. A patient who has such risk-factors should be given antibiotics to prevent a wound infection from occurring. If there is a failure to do so and a patient does go on to suffer an infection, there could be grounds for medical negligence.

Contact us for more information

If you believe you suffered an infection after gallbladder removal which could have been prevented, contact us today to discuss the possibility of making a medical negligence claim. If you do have a case, you could be entitled to compensation.

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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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