Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Injuries

At Zayed Law Offices, we have handled more medical malpractice cases arising from negligence during the performance of laparoscopic cholecystectomies than anyone in Illinois.  The laparoscopic cholecystectomy is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States. With roughly 400,000 laparoscopic cholecystectomies performed per year, something like 2% or 8,000 surgeries involve serious complications.

Inflammation of the gallbladder, or cholecystitis, is typically related to diet or genetics, and up until the early 1990s, gallbladders would be removed via open surgery. The laparoscopic revolution swept through the general surgery world, and rendered the open surgery a relatively infrequent procedure. That being said, the laparoscopic cholecystectomy should not be the only tool in a doctor's toolkit. A competent general surgeon should be comfortable converting to an open procedure if necessary, and they should have command of appropriate diagnostic modalities such as intra operative cholangiogram.


Photo of a Real Intraoperative Cholangiogram
Intraoperative Cholangiogram

(This is a screenshot of a real intraoperative cholangiogram from one of our cases where the common bile duct was completely severed during the performance of an unnecessary and inappropriate laparoscopic cholecystectomy. When the defendant doctor injected die during the intraoperative cholangiogram, the radio opaque die just flowed into the peritoneal cavity because the common bile duct was completely severed).

The standard of care is to perform the laparoscopic cholecystectomy using the critical view of safety. There are several components to the critical view of safety, but in lay terms, the doctor should recognize the important anatomy, and the doctor should not cut or divide any anatomy until that anatomy has been identified.

After an injury during the performance of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, we see a lot of different ways in which things are handled. That being said, very frequently, our clients report a significant amount of obfuscation from the at fault surgeon. We hear general phrases such as, something was “knicked.” Or there's a “leak.” Sometimes patients aren't really advised and they simply sit languishing after what was supposed to be a straightforward procedure. Sometimes doctors know they have made a mistake, and they hope that it will just stenose and heal up. Sometimes doctors don't know they have severed a critical piece of anatomy in the biliary system.

In the event of a biliary injury, a gallbladder injury, an injury to the common bile duct, or an injury during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, it is important to have the case evaluated by an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Because of our wealth of experience, we can cut right through the haze and confusion in the aftermath of a gallbladder surgery injury. What might take another law firm a year to investigate, might literally take us 5 minutes provided we have the medical records and the imaging.

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If you or a family member has experienced complications following a surgery, please contact us via telephone or through our website. If you have incurred a reconstruction surgery following a laparoscopic cholecystectomy it is doubly important to seek legal advice. At Zayed Law Offices, we truly have the experience and resources in order to remedy any wrongs committed by a negligent doctor. That being said, it is important to note that the vast majority of surgeons are terrifically talented. It is the same surgeons over and over who create the plurality of surgical errors.