Bile duct injuries are commonly associated with abdominal surgery, particularly the removal of the gallbladder. If you have suffered such a complication during an operation, you will want to know why it happened and whether there is anything you can do about it.
Bile duct injuries during surgery
The bile duct consists of a number of long narrow tubes. It is responsible for carrying bile – a liquid that helps with the digestion of food – from the liver where it is produced to the small intestine. During the course of this journey, some bile will be stored in the gallbladder, a small pouch attached to the bile duct.
Because of its location, the bile duct is especially vulnerable during certain types of abdominal surgery, such as the removal of the gallbladder – known medically as a cholecystectomy. It is a known risk, and yet medical professionals can avoid damaging the bile duct during surgery, just so long as the correct skill and expertise is maintained during the operation.
Complications of bile duct injuries
If the bile duct is accidentally nicked during a surgical procedure, it is absolutely vital the injury is recognised and repaired without delay. Otherwise a patient will be sent back to the recovery ward, only to become extremely unwell. This is because bile will leak into the abdominal cavity, while the small intestine will no longer be able to break down food. This can lead to very serious complications, as the abdominal wall will become infected, potentially resulting in sepsis of the blood and organ failure.
Have you suffered because of a bile duct injury?
If you have suffered a bile duct injury during surgery, you should speak to a legal expert about your treatment. A solicitor who specialises in medical negligence claims will be able to clarify why this complication occurred.
It may be that doctors did not display the level of skill that would be expected of a reasonably competent surgeon. For example, it may be that the tube that connects the bile duct and the gallbladder was not properly sealed. If so, there will be a case of medical negligence. This will also be true if your bile duct injury was not diagnosed at the time of the operation.
Can you claim for your bile duct injury?
If medical negligence is to blame for your bile duct injury, you will be entitled to pursue a medical negligence claim. This will allow you to obtain compensation for the pain, suffering and financial damage you have been caused.
To find out more on medical negligence claims, get in touch with us at 1stClaims.