The gallbladder is a little, non-essential organ attached to the liver that transports bile to the small intestine through the bile duct. Unfortunately, the organ can cause problems in those individuals that are susceptible to gallstones, or deposits that can be found in the gallbladder. Removal of the stones only results in more rapid production of more stones, so the only option for patients who suffer from gallstones is the removal of the gallbladder.
Although gallbladder surgery is relatively common, it can be rife with medical complications. Gallbladder surgical errors can result in severe infections that if not promptly detected and treated can even be fatal.
Gallstones Often Leave People With No Alternative to Surgery
Gallstones form when the liver is full of fatty substances as the result of diet or genetics. Sometimes, patients with gallstones do not experience any discomfort, but for some, the pain the stones cause to the upper abdomen can be serious. For these patients, the only option is surgery to remove the gallbladder, known as a cholecystectomy.
Two surgical options are available to patients who suffer from gallstones: laparoscopic cholecystectomy and a more traditional open surgery cholecystectomy. Laparoscopic surgery does not involve a large incision but small punctures that allow the laparoscope and other instruments to remove the gall stones. Normally, both are safe surgeries when elective, but medical risks increase when the gallstone removal surgery is an emergency.
Potential Dangers of Gallbladder Surgery
Several things can go wrong with both types of surgeries. Complications with laparoscopic surgery, such as punctures and perforations, usually compel surgeons to transition to a more conventional open surgery. A recent study found that some surgeons may not be experienced or have the right qualifications to perform laparoscopic cholecystectomies, which may lead to emergency open surgery cholecystectomies and contribute to medical errors.
The most serious medical complication during and following a cholecystectomy is the perforation of the bile duct, which can lead to infections, liver damage, and pancreatitis. In addition, surgery may not remove all the stones and can contribute to long-term stone recurrence if the gallbladder is not entirely removed.
Individuals with gallstone issues should carefully consider their surgical options before they commit to a procedure. If the gallstone surgery is an emergency, make sure to ask lots of questions before and after the procedure, if possible, so you can understand the risks of the operation.
There is a limited period of time for taking action in New York for medical negligence. If you been injured or a loved one has lost his/her life during or following gallstone surgery you should speak with an experienced New York City medical malpractice attorney. An attorney with a strong history of resolving medical malpractice cases can evaluate your claim.