Medical Negligence – gallbladder Claims
The gallbladder is part of the digestive system. It stores bile (produced by the liver), then releases it into the digestive tract.
The problem is not the gallbladder, but gallstones.
And the problem with gallstones – which are inside the gallbladder – is that if they get loose, they can block the bile duct.
Because of this, surgery to remove the gallbladder, along with the stones, is common.
NICE says there are 66,660 cholecystectomies (this is the medical term use for surgery to remove the gallbladder) performed each year in the UK.
There is no intermediate treatment. Either you keep your gallbladder, and have very little medical treatment, or you have “routine” surgery (cholecystectomy).
Which brings us to negligence. When surgery does go wrong, the bile duct can be damaged. Once damaged, the bile duct is difficult to repair without long term complications.
When doctors describe surgery as “routine” that tends to mean senior surgeons are prepared to use it as a training opportunity for junior surgeons. That sounds cynical, but it is the reality. Having said this, senior surgeons do make mistakes during “routine” cholecystectomy operations, as well.
Another problem with the gallbladder-related illness is negligent failure to diagnose.
This can be an issue with GPs and A&E Departments. Like appendicitis, the failure to diagnose inflammation and infection caused by gallstones lodged in the bile duct, can be life threatening.
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