Cut Bile Duct Injury During Surgery. Parker Waichman LLP is investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of patients who suffered from a cut in the common bile duct or hepatic duct during laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. This procedure, which is also known as a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, is a type of surgery that removes the gallbladder in a minimally invasive manner; by using laparoscopic methods, surgeons make a smaller incision rather than opening up the abdominal cavity. However, this type of surgery has a risk of cutting, clipping or nicking the common bile duct if the surgeon is not well-trained or careful. A cut bile duct will leak bile into the abdominal cavity, causing potentially fatal complications. If you or someone you know has suffered a cut bile duct injury during a laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, our attorneys would like to speak with you. Call Parker Waichman LLP today for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case.
Gallbladder Removal (cholecystectomy) using Laparoscopic Surgery
The gallbladder is a small organ that stores and releases bile, which a substance that is produced by the liver in order to digest fats. Gallbladder removal surgery, or cholecystectomy, is needed when a patient experiences gallstones, or hard pebble-like deposits in the gallbladder made of cholesterol and other substances in bile. Over 90 percent of gallbladder surgeries are performed laparoscopically. In a laparoscopic gallbladder removal, a surgeon makes a small incision in the abdomen and uses a small video camera to guide small surgical tools throughout the body. The surgeon will make cuts and clips to the gallbladder’s anatomical attachments, including ducts and arteries. Only an experienced and well-trained surgeon should be performing this surgery; if the wrong duct or artery is cut, or if one is mistakenly nicked, serious and even fatal injuries can occur.
Cut, Clipped, or Nicked Bile Ducts Can Lead to Fatal Injuries
In a laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery, the organs and ducts involved are small and close together. This close proximity, combined with the fact that a camera is used to visualize the body, increases the risk that the common bile duct or common hepatic duct will be cut. For this reason, it is vital that the surgeon is careful identifying the structures they wish to cut. The common bile duct is connected to the gallbladder through the cystic duct. If the bile duct is cut, bile will leak into the abdominal cavity, leading to serious injury or death. Injuries may also occur if the cystic duct is improperly clipped. Another nearby organ, such as the intestine, is also at risk for laceration, which can cause potentially fatal complications.
Injuries that can occur from laparoscopic gallbladder surgery include bile leakage, infection, bile peritonitis abscess and death. Damage to the common bile duct or hepatic duct can also lead to permanent pain or digestive problems.
Cholangitis, an infection or inflammation of the bile ducts, is another complication that can occur due to a bile duct injury following laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. This can lead to infection, which can turn into sepsis; this condition can be fatal if left untreated. Signs of cholangitis include:
- Abdominal pain
- Clay-colored stools
- Dark urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Yellowing of the skin (jaundice) that may come and go
Legal Help for Victims of Cut Bile Duct Injury
If you or someone you know has suffered a cut bile duct injury following laparoscopic cholecystectomy, you may have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online form or call 1(800)-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today.