Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A. Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A.

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Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A.
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Why gallbladder bile duct injuries occur and how to identify them

When small, rigid masses develop inside a gallbladder, it can cause an individual to experience significant pain. If left unaddressed, those gallstones can significantly damage the gallbladder. A patient risks developing an infection if this occurs.

To avoid this happening, most doctors will recommend that their patient has a laparoscopic gallbladder removal procedure performed on them. Much like any other surgical procedure, there are inherent risks to having a gallbladder removal surgery.

This procedure often involves a surgeon making several small cuts along a patient's abdomen. It's through one of these incisions that a surgeon will typically place both a light and camera affixed to a scope so that he or she can see inside the patient's abdomen. It's through the other cuts that the surgeon places surgical tools necessary to perform the removal.

In some cases, the bile duct may become burned, severed or pinched as the surgeon is attempting to remove it from the patient's abdominal cavity. If this occurs, it can either cause the bile's regular flow to become blocked or for the toxic bile to leak into the patient's abdomen. A bile duct injury of this type is estimated to occur in one out of every 1,000 laparoscopic gallbladder removal cases.

Some estimates show that as few as 10 percent of all injuries to bile ducts are identified during the patient's initial surgery. This is why it's important for the patient to know what some of the initial signs of a bile duct injury are. Preliminary indicators of a damaged bile duct include abdominal discomfort, pain, swelling, nausea, fever, vomiting, chills and jaundice.

Most often a doctor confirms a leakage by intravenously injecting an iodine dye into the patient's bloodstream. It allows the radiologist to identify a duct leakage on a X-ray.

When it's determined that a patient has a bile duct injury, then the doctor will first treat the infection. If possible, the surgeon will harvest a portion of the patient's intestine to reconstruct the damaged duct. If discovered early enough, such as during surgery, then down time necessary for recovery may be limited to just a few days. In more complex cases, multiple surgeries may be required, resulting a more lengthy recovery period.

If you've suffered a bile duct injury, then a Pensacola surgical error lawyer can advise you of legal remedies that can be pursued in your medical malpractice case.

Source: Cleveland Clinic, "Bile duct injuries during gall bladder surgery," accessed Nov. 01, 2017

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Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A. 201 N. Palafox Street 2nd Floor Pensacola, FL 32502 Toll Free: 888-414-1326 Phone: 850-696-0314 Fax: 850-438-0575 Pensacola Law Office

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