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When gallbladder surgery leads to injuries

Feb 19, 2018 | Surgical Errors

In an estimated 1 percent of all gallbladder operations, patients come away with some form of injury to their bile duct, the organ that leads bile from the liver to the gallbladder. Those in New York who are suffering from bile duct injuries should know that these could have resulted from malpractice.

These injuries are caused by trauma during surgery. The bile duct begins to form a scar, and this creates a bile duct stricture, a narrowing of the bile duct. When bile can no longer pass through, it leaks out into the abdominal cavity, leading to a form of jaundice called obstructive jaundice. Symptoms can include fever, nausea, vomiting and persistent pain and discomfort.

Patients can experience an early onset of symptoms or a delay in them. Individuals that experience early symptoms usually experience bile leakage while people who have them later on usually are at the stage where bile is being prevented from passing through the duct. Also, roughly 20 percent of patients who incur bile duct injuries also incur injuries to the hepatic artery, which is the blood vessel leading to the liver.

The recovery time for gallbladder surgery is normally short, which is why physicians should be concerned if their patients show little sign of recovering. However, delayed symptoms may take months to appear.

As stated above, bile duct injuries could be the result of surgical errors. Individuals who suffer from such injuries may be eligible for compensation; all they have to do is consult with a medical malpractice attorney about filing a claim. A lawyer could bring in medical investigators to establish how the doctor failed to live up to the prescribed standard of care. An attorney can also factor in past medical bills as well as future medical care when estimating a settlement and then proceed with negotiations.