Gall Bladder Surgery Mistakes



At the Law Offices of Judy Greenwood, P.C., we represent victims who have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, including improperly performed gall bladder surgery. Because these cases are often complex, we have a doctor/lawyer available to review the facts of your case, and to provide the medical insight necessary to determine if there was negligence or substandard care.

The gallbladder is an organ in the abdomen that, in essence, serves as a storage bottle for bile, which is produced by the liver and used in digestion. It holds the "surplus" bile awaiting its need. It is not an organ necessary for life, however, and is often best removed when the patient suffers painful bouts of gallstones or other gallbladder disease. A "cholecystectomy," gall bladder removal surgery, is among the most common surgeries, with approximately 500,000 performed annually in the United States.

The majority of gall bladder surgeries are performed as laparoscopies, where the surgeon inserts instruments and a camera through small incisions in the abdomen and watches his movements on a monitor. The surgeon can also do the procedure as an "open" one using a larger incision and having direct vision of the surgical field. The laparoscopic approach generally entails less scarring and quicker relief from incision pain. At times, this approach must be converted to an open one when, during surgery, obstacles arise that interfere with the surgeon's ability to properly visualize the operative field.

Infection, inflammation, adhesions from prior surgery, and unusual gallbladder anatomy (a very frequent encounter) all can suggest conversion, a step a competent surgeon should take if it means the reduction of risk of surgical error. In the hands of a well trained and experienced laparoscopic surgeon, a laparoscopic approach should be about as free of injury as an open procedure. However, either approach, in the hands of a careless surgeon, can lead to catastrophic harm.

The most common serious surgical error involves the misidentification of the small ducts through which the bile flows, resulting in cutting the wrong duct, usually the common bile duct, rather than the cystic duct. Cutting the common bile duct can result in complicated repair surgery, with its own attendant risks and often quite lengthy recovery. It may require transfer to a facility where a specialist in who does these repairs performs surgeries. Other injuries which may occur include blood vessel or intestine injury, infection, and anesthesia mishaps.

At the Law Offices of Judy Greenwood, P.C., we have obtained excellent results for our clients in medical malpractice and gall bladder surgical error cases, and pride ourselves on our attention to detail and our reputation in the legal community. If you have been injured because of a medical mistake and want to discuss your case, please call (215) 557-7500, or click here to contact us, to arrange a free consultation. Our attorneys will review what happened, consult with appropriate medical experts, and let you know what we think.