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Failure to Diagnose Gallstones

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located on the right side of the abdomen, just beneath the liver. The gallbladder stores bile, a digestive fluid that is released into the small intestine. Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid in the gallbladder.

Gallstones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball in size. Some people develop only one gallstone, while others develop several gallstones at once. Gallstones that cause symptoms usually necessitate gallbladder removal surgery. Gallstones that do not cause any symptoms usually do not require treatment. When your gallbladder isn’t working properly, hard fragments known as gallstones can form.

Gallstones do not dissolve or disappear by themselves. If you are experiencing pain or other distressing symptoms, you may be forced to have your gallbladder removed. Around 80% of people who develop gallstones require surgery. Many gallbladder surgeries are laparoscopic and take between one and two hours to complete. A few small incisions are made in your abdomen by your surgeon. Thin, hollow tubes are inserted through the incisions during the procedure. Your surgical team inserts other surgical tools through the tubes using a laparoscope.

Your medical team may also inject carbon dioxide into your abdomen to inflate the surgical area and improve the visibility of your internal organs. Your surgical team will then use surgical tools to detach and remove your gallbladder. Finally, your team seals the incisions.

Surgical mistakes can result in dangerous complications. Bile duct injuries can result in serious postoperative medical complications. Some complications can significantly reduce your overall quality of life. In the worst-case scenario, you could die as a result of your injuries.  Some injuries are discovered and treated right away. In other cases, injuries are misdiagnosed and patients are treated incorrectly. The selection and timing of the best reconstructive strategy are critical to your long-term prognosis.

Researchers examined a legal database to determine the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed for gallbladder surgery over a 13-year period. They investigated 46 cases. A total of 39 cases went to trial. Twenty of the 46 cases were decided in favor of the plaintiff. The majority of gallbladder surgery malpractice claims involve issues with intraoperative visualization. These are also the most likely cases to result in physician loss. In 67% of the lawsuits, the type of malpractice claimed was intraoperative care. In nearly 68% of the cases, the most common intraoperative allegation was poor surgical field visualization.  Nearly 67% of plaintiffs won at trial in cases involving problematic visualization. Approximately 10% of the plaintiffs reached an out-of-court settlement. Bile duct injuries continue to be the most common patient injury resulting in cholecystectomy litigation.  These injuries accounted for 43.5% of all injuries. The plaintiff won 60% of the time.

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to provide the expected level of care. It indicates that someone on your medical team made a mistake and was negligent in their care of you. A failure to exercise reasonable care may be considered malpractice. This includes if a surgeon does not take the time to properly perform a procedure. Or if the surgeon fails to respond to a surgical-related problem. The majority of gallbladder surgery malpractice claims arise when a surgeon does not know where the biliary ducts are on a patient and accidentally cuts them. If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you need a lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our highly experienced medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve.  We serve clients throughout Upstate New York and have offices in several convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice is reflected in the results we have obtained for our clients.

So, if avoidable harm is caused by poor medical care, it is critical that those affected are aware that help is available. If you believe you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice in relation to gallstone surgery, you may be entitled to compensation. The only way to be certain is to consult with an attorney who is experienced in handling gallstone surgery negligence cases. To find out if you or someone you know has a claim, contact us as soon as possible, and we will do everything we can to get you the answers you deserve.

The bile ducts may be accidentally cut or burned during gallstone surgery. When the bile duct is injured, it is no longer able to transport bile outside of the liver. As a result, the normal flow of bile is disrupted, and it is likely to leak into the abdomen, causing painful or even fatal outcomes. While bile duct injuries are common side effects of gallstone surgery, they are considered medical negligence when there is a significant delay in diagnosing and treating the injury. When a bile duct injury occurs, it is usually due to the surgeon’s inability to see the area around the bile ducts and gallbladder during surgery. Scar tissue, swelling, or bleeding in the area can obstruct the doctor’s view, as can the patient’s anatomy being structured abnormally. While the doctor may detect signs of bile duct injuries during the gallstone surgery procedure, the first sign that typically emerges post-surgery is a slower than expected recovery. Following that, symptoms such as fever, nausea, pain or swelling in the abdomen, general discomfort, feeling cold, or jaundice, which describes the yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin, may occur. Because the consequences of untreated bile duct injuries can be severe, and because bile duct injuries are a real risk of gallstone surgery, it is the doctor’s responsibility not only to spot and diagnose symptoms as soon as possible, but also to remain vigilant before symptoms appear. If a medical professional fails to do so, it may be considered medical negligence. In this case, the patient is entitled to compensation for all avoidable trauma that they have suffered.

If you or a loved one was severely harmed due to a botched gallbladder surgery, we may be able to help you. Our firm has been handling personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice cases for over 30 years.  DeFrancisco & Falgiatano has assisted a number of clients in regaining peace of mind and obtaining justice for the negligent or careless actions of the responsible party. Contact Upstate New York’s experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.

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