An operation to remove a patient’s gallbladder has gone disastrously wrong when the surgeon also mistakenly removed the bile duct and hepatic duct. According to the BBC, the patient’s liver has also suffered damage.

The anatomy around the gallbladder inside the abdomen is complex and, when a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) is carried out, it is essential that all surrounding structures are not cut, compressed or otherwise damaged during the process.

A failure to protect the bile duct which transports bile from the liver to the intestine can leave the patient with an array of life-changing physical problems, as has happened in this instance.

The relevant hospital trust, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, has apparently admitted liability and the occurrence is also being investigated by both the General Medical Council and the Royal College of Surgeons.

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