Laparoscopic surgery to remove the gallbladder usually goes well for patients in Kentucky. Most people recover very quickly, but, in almost 1 percent of cases, the surgery results in an injury to the bile duct. Surgical errors made during gallbladder removals represent the most common cause of trauma to the bile duct.
Scar tissue left by the surgery blocks or narrows the bile duct. This stricture restricts the essential flow of bile into the intestine and backs it up into the liver. After saturating the liver, the bile infiltrates the bloodstream and produces jaundice in patients. Patients might experience symptoms soon after surgery, or weeks or months might pass before signs of blockage emerge.
Other common symptoms are continuous pain, nausea, vomiting and fever. Sufferers usually arrive at the hospital with bile leaking into their abdominal cavities. About 20 percent of bile duct injury cases result in a secondary injury to the hepatic artery. This major vessel supplies blood to the liver.
A patient who has been harmed by a surgical error and has trouble getting straight answers about the situation could consult an attorney. A legal review of the case could inform the person about the viability of pursuing a medical malpractice claim. An attorney might determine whether the evidence has the potential to meet the legal standards that apply to cases of medical negligence. Such a lawsuit might recover compensation for additional medical expenses imposed by the injury and pain and suffering. In order to prevail, it will have to be demonstrated that the health care practitioner failed to exhibit the requisite standard of care.