As a practicing St. Louis personal injury attorney, with a good percentage of my practice devoted to Missouri medical malpractice cases, I have personally seen a rise is biliary injuries with introduction of less invasive laparoscopic cholecystectomy (aka – “Lap-choli” or gallbladder removal surgery). The move from and open procedure (being sliced open) to a laparoscopic procedure (entry through small incisions with a laparoscope) brought the great benefits of being less invasive, causing less pain and generally less recovery time. On the flip side, I believe there are more instances of doctor negligence related to the gallbladder removal. Why? It is more technically difficult to do the surgery guiding little arms rather than being hands on, yet some doctors without sufficient experience do these procedures.
The medical literature recognizes that the introduction of less invasive procedures has led to more instances of injuries: See: “Development Of Laparoscopic Single-Site Cholecystectomy Mandates Critical View Of Safety Dissection and Routine Intraoperative Cholangiography” – Journal of the American College of Surgeons – Volume 212, Issue 3 (March 2011) stating:
The uncontrolled introduction of laparoscopy was associated with a dramatic rise in the incidence of biliary injuries. This should not be repeated with the introduction of laparoendoscopic single-site surgery (LESS). We should not forget principles of safety elaborated during decades of minimally invasive cholecystectomy. Although the benefits of LESS cholecystectomy will rely mainly on cosmesis, we cannot accept a rise in biliary lesion incidence and its related morbidity
The most common mistake I see as a St. Louis negligent gallbladder removal lawyer, and that I believe the medical field sees with these cases, is negligent cutting of the wrong duct, at first is not recognized (or maybe covered up), and invariably leads to the patient being admitted to the ER within a few days with a distended abdomen with pain and an infectious process ongoing from the bile leaking into the peritoneum. The patient is usually then urgently sent to another hospital or health care provider specializing in biliary, hepatic, and liver surgery.
Clayton injury lawyer Ben Sansone handles medical malpractice cases in the St. Louis area and can be contacted at (314) 726-1817 or through his website, Sansone & Lauber.