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Serious injuries follow surgeons' errors in gallbladder surgery

Different types of surgeries involve different types of risks, including the potential for injuries. In gallbladder surgeries, one common type of serious injury is a bile duct injury.

A resident in California might require surgery on their gallbladder, which is a sac-like organ on the right side of a person's belly. Surgery is likely necessary if he or she develops hard, small masses known as gallstones in the organ. Gallstones can be painful and may lead to swelling and infection, necessitating surgical intervention. Surgical removal of a person's gallbladder is known as cholecystectomy, and commonly this surgery is performed laparoscopically.

Unfortunately, surgical errors during gallbladder surgery can lead to bile duct injuries. Commonly, bile duct injuries occur when a surgeon is unable to see the area around a person's bile ducts and gallbladder. If a bile duct is burned, pinched or cut during surgery, bile can leak into a person's abdomen.

These injuries can not only be painful, but also fatal for patients. They may lead to vomiting, fever, chills, swelling of the abdomen, abdominal pain, as well as other general discomfort. Though some bile duct injuries are diagnosed at the time of a patient's initial surgery, some injuries will require additional testing to confirm the injury, as well as an additional surgery to correct the error, which of course will only cause a patient's medical expenses to continue to mount.

An injury to the bile duct during gallbladder surgery may constitute medical malpractice. If you have suffered an injury during gallbladder surgery, you may have a cause of action due to a surgeon's mistake. A medical malpractice claim could help a harmed patient offset the losses and damages caused by medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages and other related damages impacting his or her life.

Source: Cleveland Clinic, "Bile Duct Injuries During Gallbladder Surgery," accessed May 6, 2016

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