About Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery

Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery, also known as Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, has been available since about 1989. It is a relatively non-invasive way to remove a diseased gallbladder without opening the abdominal cavity with a large incision and without the traditional 4-day hospital stay and 4-6 week recovery period.

The advantages of the laparoscopic procedure are many, including shorter surgery time (usually about an hour), four tiny incisions instead of a large unsightly scar, significantly less discomfort than open surgery, a much shorter hospital stay (many patients go home the same day or within one day) and a much quicker recovery time.

However, there are also increased risks with this type of surgery. The risks include cutting the wrong duct; nicking or damaging adjacent ducts or organs, which can lead to bile leak; infection; bile peritonitis; abscess and even death. In addition, sometimes additional surgery is needed to repair other damage to the common bile duct. Even after repair surgery, patients may suffer from permanent pain and on-going digestive problems.

A high degree of experience, skill and care is required on the part of the surgeon in order for this operation to be safe. But gallbladder surgery has become big business — $5 billion dollars per year — that unfortunately has led some doctors without sufficient experience to perform these operations, unfairly putting their patients at risk and causing severe and life-threatening damage. Complications from this surgery may be a result of negligent performance by an improperly trained doctor, resulting in some form of medical malpractice. It also may be caused by not taking the necessary time or performing the necessary steps to identify the internal anatomy of the patient. Everyone’s anatomy is different.

It is important that patients and their families know about the risks, are fully informed about the warning signs of damage, and that the medical profession is held to a standard of practice that does not endanger the public. Read more>

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