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Medical Malpractice Facts On Gallbladder Surgery You Should Know

Gallbladder surgery (Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy) or “lap chole” as it is popularly called, is a surgery that has grown in relevance and numbers within the past few decades. Between 750,000 and 1,000,000 of these procedures are performed every year in the United States.

Gallbladder surgery can lead to quite a number of complications, some of which include:

  • Bile duct injuries
  • Bowel penetration
  • Burns to the hepatic ducts
  • Excessive bleeding. 

These complications could become quite serious and usually result in medical malpractice suits. Here is some more information on these potential Laparoscopic Cholycestectomy complications:

Bile Duct Injuries

Going inside someone to rummage around in their organs is not easy, which is why doctors are specially trained to always be sure of what they are cutting or shifting before they do. In some cases, either due to negligence or incompetence on the doctor’s part, the common hepatic duct is cut instead of the cystic duct during gallbladder surgery. Another common mistake is placing surgical clips on the common bile duct which causes a stricture.

There is a process to this operation and they are so crucial to its success that surgeons are required to document each process during the surgery. These injuries are totally avoidable and usually happen when the surgeon in question cannot see what they are doing and does not follow the process.

When the surgeon fails to convert a laparoscopic procedure into “open surgery”

About 2%-15% of all Laparoscopic procedures are converted to open surgeries. This is usually because of acute cholecystitis- when bile is trapped in the gallbladder (never a good thing). If this complication is noticed on time, fixing it is fairly straightforward, like an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) under anesthesia and using stents. 

What happens is that surgeons sometimes ignore the signs and close the patient up with the injury. Complications then come up later that could lead to sepsis, infection, or even death. 

Uncontrollable bleeding

A laparoscopic procedure could cause uncontrollable bleeding, usually from the liver or from the points where the laparoscopy tools are inserted. Bleeding from the liver usually occurs when the procedure is complete (after the gallbladder has been removed), and it requires immediate conversion of the surgery to an open one. This developing situation needs to be recognized immediately and treated or it will get worse and lead to sepsis or death.

Bowel Penetration

This occurs in fewer cases than the other complications but is not any less dangerous. It usually happens due to medical malpractice; careless handling of the laparoscope which could puncture the stomach or ileum. The injuries that result from this complication could be potentially fatal and it often takes several other surgeries to make the patient stable once more.


Complications due to gallbladder surgeries are usually serious, and suing for medical malpractice is common for situations like this. To ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve, you want to work with a personal injury law firm with relevant experience and a high success rate pursuing similar cases. This is exactly where Frischman & Rizza, PC comes in.

You can book a consultation with an expert medical malpractice attorney today by visiting their official website.

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