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Gallbladder Functionality & Gallstone Formation
The Gallbladder is a small organ that collects and releases bile produced by the liver. Bile breaks down fats to be later absorbed into the digestive track. Bile must travel through bile ducts to reach the small intestine.
Gallstones, small and hard crystallized bits of cholesterol and bile salts, can form in the gallbladder or in the bile duct and block the flow of bile to the intestinal track. This causes the gallbladder to swell and results in excruciating abdominal pain. The recommended method to relieve this severe pain is to undergo gallbladder removal surgery.
Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy V. Open Gallbladder Surgery
There are two surgical procedures to remove gall stones from the body: traditional open gallbladder surgery or laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The latter has become the procedure of choice for many patients dealing with gallstones or gallbladder disease because it is less invasive and the recovery time is substantially less than traditional open surgery.
Although a laparoscopic cholecystectomy is less invasive, complications can still arise. Surgeons operate based upon what they see on a television screen, rather than they can see directly. As a result, a surgeon can easily sever the bile duct during surgery if he or she not extremely careful.
Injuries Resulting From Severed Bile Duct
If a surgeon severs a bile duct during surgery, a patient can experience excruciating pain and other various medical conditions including, but not limited to:
- Wrongful Death
- Bile Peritonitis – bile leaking into and infecting the abdomen that can lead to organ failure and even death
- Cholangitis – inflammation of the bile duct that can be life threatening if not treated immediately
- Jaundice – yellowing of the skin, whitening of the eyes
- Pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas
A patient will likely be forced to undergo numerous future surgical operations to repair the severed bile duct and drain the bile as a result of a surgeon’s negligence. If a patient experiences permanent impairment, additional procedures will need to be performed to insert drainage tubs inside the patient.