New York Gallbladder Surgery Malpractice Attorneys
Assisting Victims of Gallbladder Surgery Malpractice
Approximately 700,000 people in the United States have their gallbladders surgically removed each year, with most of them being done by a minimally invasive procedure called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, or LapCholy. The procedure is performed by the use of small incisions and the insertion of a camera and small surgical instruments. Most commonly, the gallbladder is grasped with the operating tools and the surgeon dissects his/her way from the gallbladder towards a tube called the cystic duct. Once the cystic duct is identified, it is clipped with small surgical clips and the gallbladder is removed.
Gallbladder surgery is a fairly routine procedure and mistakes are rare. However, it is not altogether uncommon for surgeons to make mistakes during surgery. This can have serious implications for patients, who may experience varying degrees of injury, as well as numerous complications.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries as a result of a gallbladder surgery error, we can help. At Simonson Goodman Platzer PC, we have spent decades representing victims of medical malpractice in New York; our team of highly experienced and award-winning attorneys is ready to fight for you and your recovery.
On This Page
- How Does Malpractice Occur?
- Bile Duct Injuries in Gallbladder Surgeries
- Common Gallbladder Surgery Complications
- Treating Gallbladder Surgery Complications & Injuries
Despite it being a golden rule that a surgeon must never clip or cut a structure unless he/she is absolutely sure of what the structure is, surgical mistakes continue to happen with alarming frequency.
Bile, which is produced in the liver and concentrated in the gallbladder, helps in the digestion of fatty foods. Bile reaches the gallbladder though tube-like structures called ducts. Ducts leaving the liver meet to form the common bile duct (CBD), and the cystic duct connects the common bile duct to the gallbladder. All too often, surgeons misidentify common bile ducts as cystic ducts and erroneously clip or cut these structures.
Injury to the ducts leaving the liver or to the common bile duct during surgery are preventable injuries that can be catastrophic. In order to protect patient safety, the surgeon’s primary goal should be avoiding bile duct injury. However, studies have shown that bile duct injuries commonly occur when surgeons misidentify ductal structures.
When a surgeon encounters any difficulty identifying the ductal structures, he or she should convert the procedure to an open one. This is a fairly easy procedure; it simply requires removing the laparoscopic instruments and then making a larger incision. The larger scar and longer recovery time pale in comparison to the adverse effects of bile duct injury and should never prevent the surgeon from converting to open.
Despite the fact that open surgery gives the surgeon a good look at the common bile duct, surgeons who perform open surgeries as a matter of choice still sometimes cut or damage this structure.
At Simonson Goodman Platzer PC, our New York gallbladder malpractice lawyers have investigated and won many cases in which the common bile duct was injured in this way. If you sustained such an injury during gallbladder surgery, contact our office right away to learn more about how we can help.
Even though laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive surgery, all surgeries involve some degree of risk. Surgical injury to the bile duct, duodenum, or small intestine may occur and may require a second surgical procedure to repair. A bile duct injury can result in difficult reconstruction, a longer hospital stay, and a very high risk of complications, in many cases leading to death. There's a lot at risk with a gallbladder surgery gone wrong.
Other common gallbladder surgery complications include:
- Gallstones that remain in the abdominal cavity
- Injury to the abdominal blood vessels, such as the major blood vessel carrying blood from the heart to the liver
- Bile that leaks into the abdominal cavity
- The liver being cut during gallbladder surgery
- Gallstones pushed into the common bile duct
- Gallbladder surgery clips migrating
Another problem is that the majority of injuries are not recognized at the time of surgery and repair is delayed. If a cholecystectomy is difficult, it is prudent for the surgeon to get an intraoperative consultation from an experienced surgeon, both to avoid the injury and/or to recognize that it has occurred.
The treatment of these injuries is complex, requiring a team of experienced surgeons and clinicians, and there should be no hesitation in transferring a patient to a tertiary care center when a ductal injury is suspected.
Reach Out to Our Firm for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured during gallbladder surgery, contact the highly experienced New York gallbladder surgery malpractice lawyers at Simonson Goodman Platzer PC. We have decades of experience helping people like you recover damages for medical malpractice injuries, and our firm has a 98% success rate in cases we’ve handled. To date, our attorneys have secured more than $200 million for our clients in personal injury, medical malpractice and gallbladder malpractice settlements. Get in touch with us right away, as your timeline to file a claim could be limited.