Traditional (Open) Gallbladder Surgery: The Risks & Complications
Traditional or open gallbladder surgery is performed to remove diseased gallbladders when laparoscopic (or minimally invasive) surgery is not appropriate. Associated with longer recovery times, open gallbladder surgery is performed on about 10 percent of patients who undergo gallbladder removals in the U.S.
Although open gallbladder surgery is relatively safe, it does come with some risks – and patients can be harmed if the proper precautions are not taken by surgeons (and possibly other healthcare professionals).
At Buckingham Barrera Law Firm, our Midland attorneys are skilled at determining when medical errors have harmed gallbladder surgery patients. Dedicated to helping people recover from injuries caused by medical negligence, our lawyers are ready to meet with you and help you:
- Identify your recovery options if you or a loved one has been hurt by gallbladder surgery mistakes
- Protect your rights and lead you down the path to justice and recovery
- Obtain the full amount of compensation you deserve so you can concentrate on healing and rebuilding your life.
How Open Gallbladder Surgery Is Performed
Traditional gallbladder removal surgery starts by administering general anesthesia to the patient so that (s)he remains unconscious during the procedure. Then:
- One large (about 6-inch) incision is made under the bottom of the right rib cage or from the bottom of the breastbone to the bellybutton.
- The cystic duct is cut, and the gallbladder is carefully separated from the surrounding tissues and organs.
- The gallbladder is removed, and the large incision is sewn up.
This method, which usually takes about 2 hours to perform, typically leaves a large abdominal scar that is between 4 and 8 inches long. Open gallbladder surgery is preferred (instead of laparoscopic gallbladder surgery) when patients have:
- Excessive abdominal scar tissue (resulting from, for instance, previous abdominal surgeries)
- Severe swelling of the gallbladder, the bile duct and/or the abdominal lining (peritonitis)
- Bleeding disorders (or anticoagulant medication regimens) that prevent blood clotting
- High blood pressure (hypertension) in the blood vessels surrounding the liver (which may be caused by liver problems like cirrhosis, for example)
- Abnormal gallbladder (or abdominal) anatomy.
Approximately 5 percent of laparoscopic gallbladder surgeries end up being converted to traditional gallbladder removal surgeries.
Open Gallbladder Surgery Mistakes & Complications
Like laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, open gallbladder surgery does come with some risks, which can include (but may not be limited to):
- Cutting or tearing the bile duct – This can lead to bile leakages, jaundice and serious infections.
- Puncturing the tissues and/or organs surrounding the gallbladder – This can result in organ failure and other injuries.
- Administering unsafe type(s) or amount(s) of anesthesia – This can lead to allergic reactions and other serious complications.
- Leaving surgical tools or supplies in patients – This can result in permanent, if not life-threatening, injuries.
These (and other) gallbladder surgery mistakes are far more likely to arise when surgeons (or other medical professionals) are:
- Not experienced at performing these procedures
- In a hurry to wrap up the procedure
- Not attentive, sober or diligent when performing the surgery.
After Open Gallbladder Surgery Errors Occur: The Options for Recovery
When medical mistakes contribute to gallbladder surgery errors and injuries, victims can be entitled to compensation for the damage and harm they have suffered. In general, compensation for gallbladder surgery injuries caused by medical negligence can include (but may not be limited to) awards for:
- Medical bills and treatment costs, including future surgeries, hospital stays, etc.
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs (if these injuries are fatal).
While no amount of money can ever offset permanent injuries – or the loss of a loved one, these awards can be important sources of financial support, helping victims and their families start to heal and rebuild their lives.
Contact a Midland Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Buckingham Barrera Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured during an open gallbladder surgery, you can rely on a Midland medical malpractice lawyer at Buckingham Barrera Law Firm for aggressive advocacy and experienced help with your financial recovery.
Call (432) 570-1919 or email our firm via the contact form on this page to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers. When you meet with us, you can get clear-cut answers about your rights and best options for proceeding. This can empower you to make the right decisions for you and your family as you move forward.
From offices based in Midland, our skilled lawyers provide superior service and effective legal advocacy to injured people throughout Midland County, the state of Texas, the state of New Mexico, and the U.S.