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Bile Duct Injury
Bile Duct Injury During Gallbladder Removal

Bile Duct Injury During Gallbladder Removal

If your bile duct was injured during the removal of your gallbladder, you could be entitled to compensation for the damage you have been caused. To find more, contact a medical negligence solicitor without delay.

How does the bile duct suffer injury during surgery?

The bile duct made up of several long narrow tubes that connect the liver to the small intestine. It serves an important function, as it carries the bile (made in the liver) to the small intestine, where it is used to break down food and aid digestion.

The bile duct is also connected to the gallbladder, a small pouch that sits just underneath the liver. Because of this, the bile duct is particularly vulnerable during surgery to remove the gallbladder. This type of procedure is known medically as a cholecystectomy and will usually be required by patient's suffering from painful gallstones. The surgeon and his or her team must therefore take great care when removing the gallbladder, making sure not to cut the bile duct. Clips must also be attached to the cystic duct after the gallbladder has been taken out to prevent bile leakage.

What happens if the bile duct is damaged?

But unfortunately there are occasions when the bile duct is damaged during cholecystectomy surgery. This will happen in about one in 500 cases and is considered to be the most serious complication of gallbladder surgery. This is because bile will leak into the abdominal cavity, leading to an infection of the abdominal wall known as peritonitis. This can be extremely dangerous, potentially leading to infection of the blood (sepsis) and even death. Such devastating complications can only be avoided if the injury is recognised and repaired during the operation itself. Nevertheless, repairing a damaged bile duct is an extremely complex procedure and more than one operation may be required.

Are bile duct injuries during surgery considered negligent?

Injury to the bile duct during gallbladder removal is a recognised risk and will be listed on the consent form as a possible complication. But that is not to say that a bile duct injury sustained during a cholecystectomy is not negligent. Indeed, if the surgeon is found to have displayed unacceptable levels of skill and expertise during the procedure, or the injury was not detected and adequately repaired, there could be a case of medical negligence.

If you or your loved one has suffered complications due to a bile duct injury, get in touch with a solicitor today to discuss claiming compensation.

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