The removal of the gallbladder is one of the more common surgeries which take place in the United States each year. With that said, in some instances, complications and injuries can occur during the procedure. When injuries occur, one of the most common questions is whether the injury is always going to be medical malpractice?
In this Maryland medical malpractice educational article I am going to touch on some of the critical medical/legal issues present when a patient suffers an injury during a laparoscopic gallbladder removal. As with many issues in Maryland medical malpractice cases, not every bad result will be medical malpractice. However, there are some cases in which a strong argument can be made that the doctor fell below the standard of care, causing the patient’s injury. Understanding a gallbladder injury and the critical areas of analysis will go a long way in helping the reader make an informed decision regarding their situation.
THE GALLBLADDER SURGERY…
In understanding a gallbladder injury from a medical/legal aspect, it is important to have an idea as to the surgery. When doctors determine that the gallbladder must be removed, they may explain to the patient the options for removal. One of the most common ways in which the procedure is done is through a laparoscopic procedure. During a laparoscopic procedure, 3 entry points are made in the patient’s abdomen and a camera is used to guide the doctor through the procedure.
For some patients the laparoscopic procedure may not be the best way to complete the surgery. In these cases, the patient may decide that an “open” procedure is the best way to move forward. When a doctor performs an open procedure, this means that the doctor will “open the patient up” like is done in a traditional surgery.
UNDERSTANDING A GALLBLADDER INJURY & MEDICAL MALPRACTICE…
The easiest way to understanding a gallbladder injury and medical malpractice is to share two examples.
EXAMPLE 1: Doctor performs a laparoscopic gallbladder removal. While inside the patient the doctor cuts the common bile duct. However, the doctor notices the cut and begins an immediate repair of the duct. The patient has no further complications due to the injury of the bile duct.
EXAMPLE 2: Same as above except that the doctor does not notice the cut to the common bile duct. The doctor does not note any complications in the surgical notes and closes the patient up with the patient subsequently released from the hospital with no indication of the leaking bile duct. The patient goes on to suffer serious injuries (becomes septic and has to have future corrective surgeries, etc…).
Hopefully you can see the difference in the two above examples. In example 1, the doctor noticed the injury and immediately started the repair. In example 2, the doctor did not notice the cut, did not repair the cut, did not note any complications, and closed the patient up and sent them on their way. The patient in example 2 has a strong argent that possible medical malpractice occurred in Maryland, whereas the patient in example 1 may have a harder time (no permanent injury, doctor started immediate repair, etc…).
DO YOU HAVE A GALLBLADDER SURGERY INJURY?
To speak with me further regarding questions surrounding your gallbladder injury during surgery in Maryland this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I talk with people who have suffered surgery injuries like yours all the time and I would be happy to listen to your story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
Boston Law Group, LLC
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815