The New Jersey gallbladder surgery lawyers at Simonson Goodman Platzer PC, with waterfront offices in Jersey City, have been representing victims of gallbladder surgery gone wrong for decades.
Approximately three-quarters of a million Americans undergo gallbladder surgery each year. Most of the surgery is done with a minimally invasive technique called laparoscopic cholycystectomy or lap-choly. The operation is performed by the use of a few band-aid sized cuts, and the insertion of a camera and small surgical instruments.
Most often the diseased gallbladder is grabbed with the operating tools and the surgeon cuts his or her way from the gallbladder toward a tube called the cystic duct. Once the cystic duct is identified, it is clipped with small surgical clips and the gallbladder is removed.
Bile, which is produced in the liver and concentrated in the gallbladder, helps in the digestion of fatty foods. Bile reaches the gallbladder though tube-like structures called ducts. Ducts leaving the liver meat to form the common bile duct (CBD), and the cystic duct connects the common bile duct to the gallbladder. Injury to the ducts leading away from liver or to the vitally important common bile duct are completely preventable injuries that can be horrific. Good and accepted practice and patient safety demands that avoiding common bile duct injury should be the surgeon’s first concern.
Many doctor authored papers have shown that misidentification of the ductal structures by the surgeon is the most common reason for these injuries. Despite being an absolute rule that a surgeon must never clip or cut anything unless he is absolutely sure of what the structure is, common bile ducts are misidentified as cystic ducts at an alarming rate. The New Jersey gallbladder malpractice lawyers at Simonson Goodman Platzer PC have investigated and won many cases where the common bile duct was injured.
When a surgeon finds that because of scarring or bleeding the different ducts are difficult to identify, it is easy to do an intraoperative dye test known as a cholangiogram or to convert the procedure into an open one. Opening the patient simply requires removing the laparoscopic instruments and then making a larger incision. The larger scar and longer recovery time pale in comparison to the adverse effects of bile duct injury and should never prevent the surgeon from converting to open.
Despite the fact that open surgery gives the surgeon a good look at the common bile duct, surgeons who perform open surgeries as a matter of choice still cut or damage this structure.
Another problem is that the majority of injuries are not recognized at the time of surgery and repair is delayed. If a cholecystectomy is difficult, it is prudent for the surgeon to get an intra- operative consultation from an experienced surgeon, both to avoid the injury or to recognize that it has occurred.
The treatment of these injuries is complex and technically difficult, requiring a very experienced hepato-biliary surgeon, and there should be no hesitation in transferring a patient to a large hospital center when ductal injury is suspected.
If this injury happens to you, make sure you place yourself in the hands of a highly experienced surgeon, and later, the highly experienced New Jersey gallbladder malpractice lawyers at Simonson Goodman Platzer PC. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and take advantage of our no-fee guarantee. Call 1.800.405.7783 to speak with an expert medical malpractice attorney.