You recently had gallbladder surgery, and something went horribly wrong. You have had to undergo other surgeries to correct the problem, and you have new health problems, including stomach disorders that you did not have before.
There is a high likelihood that you have suffered an avoidable injury caused by your doctor’s negligence. You need ongoing medical treatment -- and you also need legal help to pay for the damage to your health. You need a lawyer who understands the long-term complications you face and who has the legal expertise to get you the money you’ll need to recover from your injury.
The New York gallbladder surgery lawyers of Schwartzapfel Lawyers have handled numerous gallbladder injury cases and from our experience, we know what caused your injury. Our experience is one of the many reasons why you should contact us at 1.800.966.4999 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation.
Two Common Mistakes
Today's gallbladder operation is a relatively straightforward procedure. Here's a step-by-step look at the operation. So what went wrong with your procedure? There are two probable scenarios of how your bile duct was injured during laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery.
Your surgeon intentionally cut the common bile duct, believing at that moment it was the cystic duct.
The doctor made a mistake and inadvertently hit the common bile duct.
In both instances, you have suffered an avoidable injury caused by your doctor’s negligence. Now you need legal help. The New York gallbladder surgery lawyers of Schwartzapfel Lawyers have handled numerous gallbladder injury cases, and we employ some of the most qualified medical experts in the country to assist us. We understand what went wrong with your surgery and the serious avoidable injury you’ve suffered.
Let’s examine the two likely scenarios of how your injury happened.
Cutting the Wrong Duct
The most delicate part of the laparoscopic gallbladder removal is dissecting the ducts known as the triangle of Calot, where the cystic artery branches off the right hepatic artery. Here there are several ducts in close proximity.
The most common cause of serious injury during gallbladder surgery is misidentification of the cystic duct. When the surgery goes as planned, the cystic duct is clipped and severed so that the gallbladder can be removed. But sometimes doctors mistake the common bile duct for the cystic duct -- and sever it instead. This is a significant injury because the common bile duct carries bile produced by the liver to the small intestine to aid in digestion. The common bile duct is more important than the gallbladder, an organ that you can live without.
The error often begins if your surgeon doesn't identify the cystic duct where it enters the gallbladder:
- The doctor may have started the dissection at the junction of the cystic duct and the common bile duct, because the cystic duct is sometimes short and may be confused with the common bile duct.
- Strands of tissue may have held the gallbladder against the common duct, hiding the cystic duct.
- Inflammation also may have compromised the surgeon’s ability to clearly identify the correct ducts to cut.
None of those explanations excuses your serious injury, which was avoidable and caused by your doctor’s negligence.
Unintentional Cut to Common Bile Duct
In some instances, the surgeon may have injured the common bile duct while performing tissue dissection that he or she thought was a safe distance from the duct. In doing so, they have struck the common bile duct. The surgeon may also have clipped another duct such as the right hepatic duct. Among the reasons for this, the use of a laparoscopic camera limits the visual perspective so judging distances and the depth of field on a video screen is more difficult than in open surgery. These types of injuries occur more frequently than with traditional open surgery to remove the gallbladder.
Why Was the Mistake Made?
Why did the doctor make a medical mistake? In most cases, we have found the doctor either lacked the training to perform the surgery without error, or he or she lacked the experience to do it properly.
A medical paper published in the Annals of Surgery analyzed major bile duct injuries in 252 patients during laparoscopic gallbladder removal. That report found that the primary cause of error in 97 percent of the cases was misperception by the surgeon. The misperception was so compelling that in three-fourths of the cases the surgeon finished the surgery without recognizing the error, the article said.
In some cases, a gallbladder operation should be done as a traditional open surgery— or converted to one during the procedure when scar tissue or bleeding obscures the surgeon’s view of the patient’s anatomy. Cases in which profuse bleeding prompt consideration of a blood transfusion suggest the operation should have been converted to an open procedure. Had your doctor been properly trained or had more experience, he or she might have taken this step in your case. Instead, you ended up with an avoidable injury caused by your doctor’s negligence.
Legal Help: Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C.
The lawyers at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. have handled many gallbladder injury cases involving all of these scenarios, and we can help you. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury during gallbladder surgery, you have suffered an avoidable injury and you may face additional surgeries to correct the problem—surgeries you wouldn’t need except for an avoidable error. You may also face permanent stomach disorder.
You need legal representation. We can help you recover money for your past and future medical bills, your lost wages and the pain and suffering you’ve endured.
The NY attorneys and staff of Schwartzapfel Lawyers are committed to helping victims of laparoscopic cholecystectomy malpractice. Our attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal experience and have handled dozens of successful medical malpractice cases. Our experience is one of the many reasons why you should contact us at 1.800.966.4999 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation.