Harlingen Gallbladder Surgery Error Lawyer
Top Rated Gallbladder Surgery Error Lawyers in Harlingen, TX
Were You or a Loved One Injured Due to a Gallbladder Surgery Error?
Gallbladder surgery, also known as cholecystectomy, is a standard procedure to remove the gallbladder when it is not functioning correctly due to gallstones or other medical conditions. While this surgery is generally safe, surgical mistakes can happen, resulting in serious injuries or even death.
If you or a loved one was injured during gallbladder removal surgery, it is essential to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer at Snapka Law Firm that specializes in gallbladder surgery errors to determine whether your case qualifies as a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our attorneys have experience with the complex medical and legal issues involved in gallbladder surgery malpractice cases. They can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and get you the compensation you deserve!
What is the Function of the Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located just below the liver, and its main function is to store and concentrate bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver.
Bile is made up of water, cholesterol, bile salts, and other substances, and it helps to break down and digest fats in the small intestine. When food containing fat enters the intestine, a hormone called cholecystokinin is released, which signals the gallbladder to contract and release stored bile.
By storing and concentrating bile, the gallbladder ensures that enough bile is available to digest fats in a timely and efficient manner. Without a gallbladder, bile would still be produced by the liver, but it would be released more slowly and less consistently into the small intestine, which could lead to digestive problems such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea after eating a fatty meal.
What is Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy and When is it Needed?
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder. During the procedure, the surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen and inserts a laparoscope, a thin tube with a camera and light, to visualize the gallbladder. The surgeon then uses specialized surgical instruments to remove the gallbladder through one of the small incisions.
Laparoscopic surgery is the most common type of gallbladder removal and is preferred over traditional gallbladder surgery due to it being a minimally invasive procedure with a faster recovery time. The procedure is typically performed when a patient experiences symptoms related to gallstones, such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or bloating.
Gallbladder surgery may also be necessary in cases where the gallbladder is infected or inflamed, or when there are complications such as pancreatitis, jaundice, or the presence of cancerous cells. Your doctor can determine whether gallbladder surgery is necessary based on your symptoms, medical history, and diagnostic tests.
Potential Risks and Complications of Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery
As with any surgical procedure, laparoscopic gallbladder surgery comes with potential risks and complications. While the procedure is generally safe, patients should be aware of the following risks:
- Bleeding: There is a risk of bleeding during and after the surgery. In some cases, blood transfusions may be necessary.
- Infection: There is a risk of infection at the incision site or within the abdominal cavity. Antibiotics may be required to treat the infection.
- Risks associated with anesthesia: Anesthesia can cause complications such as allergic reactions, heart problems, and lung infections.
- Injury to the intestines or bowel: The small or large intestine can be accidentally injured during surgery, which can cause infection, bowel obstruction, severe pain, or other complications.
- Deep vein thrombosis: Surgery can increase the risk of blood clots in the legs, which can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.
Gallbladder Surgeon Mistakes Involving the Common Bile Duct
The common bile duct is a tube that carries bile from the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine. During gallbladder surgery, there is a risk of injury to the common bile duct, which can cause serious complications.
Common bile duct injuries include:
- During surgery, the bile ducts can be injured, causing bile leakage into the abdominal cavity. This can cause infection and other complications.
- Cutting the bile duct instead of the cystic duct, resulting in bile leaking into the abdominal cavity instead of flowing into the small intestine.
- Clipping or occluding the common bile duct, which can cause bile to back up into the liver
- Misidentifying the common bile duct, which can lead to injury of a different structure
Consequences of these errors can include bile duct leaks, blockages, or infections, which can cause pain, jaundice, sepsis, and even death.
Common Gallbladder Surgery Mistakes Not Involving the Common Bile Duct
Injury to the common bile duct is not the only mistake that can happen during botched gallbladder surgery. Addition errors are:
- Leaving surgical tools, like surgical clips, inside the patient’s body
- Damaging nearby organs
- Incomplete removal of the gallbladder
- Failure to correctly identify anatomical structures like the gallbladder, liver, and other organs
Are Gallbladder Surgery Mistakes Preventable?
Yes, many gallbladder surgery mistakes are preventable with proper planning, communication, and attention to detail. Surgeons should take the time to review a patient’s medical history, imaging studies, and test results before surgery to identify any potential complications or risk factors. They should also communicate effectively with the surgical team and follow established safety protocols to minimize the risk of errors.
Most malpractice claims from having a gallbladder removed occur when a surgeon doesn’t know where the biliary ducts are. Therefore, the intraoperative cholangiogram is an important tool in preventing gallbladder surgery complications and serious injury. This imaging test allows the surgeon to visualize the anatomy of the bile duct during surgery and can help prevent common errors, such as misidentification or injury to the common bile duct. While this test is not always necessary, it should be considered in cases with a higher risk of bile duct injuries, such as in patients with gallstones or abnormal bile duct anatomy.
When Does a Surgeons Error Equal Malpractice in Harlingen?
Under Texas law, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to meet the accepted standard of care, resulting in injury or death to the patient. To prove malpractice in a gallbladder surgery case, the plaintiff must show that the surgeon’s medical negligence was the direct cause of their personal injury and that the error would not have occurred if the surgeon had followed the accepted standard of care. The plaintiff must also show that the healthcare provider’s breach of the standard of care caused the patient’s damages.
Gallbladder Surgery Mistakes Claims Process
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been a victim of gallbladder surgery malpractice, it is important to consult an experienced medical malpractice claims attorney. During a free consultation, the medical malpractice attorney will review your case data and medical records to determine whether you have a viable claim.
If your attorney determines that your case has merit, they will initiate the claims process by sending a notice of claim to the healthcare provider or facility responsible for the surgical error. The provider will then have a limited amount of time to respond to the claim.
If the provider denies the claim or fails to respond, the next step is to file a lawsuit in court. The medical malpractice lawsuit will typically seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the case goes to trial, the plaintiff must prove that the healthcare provider’s error was the direct cause of their injuries and that the provider breached the accepted standard of care.
Possible Compensation for a Gallbladder Surgery Mistake in Harlingen
If a patient has suffered injuries due to a gallbladder surgery mistake, they may be entitled to compensation for a variety of damages, including:
- Medical expenses: This includes the cost of hospitalization, surgery, and any other medical treatment related to surgical errors.
- Lost wages: If the patient is unable to work due to their injuries, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or income.
- Pain and suffering: Patients who experience physical or emotional distress due to surgical error may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.
Texas has imposed limits on the amount of compensation that a plaintiff can receive in a medical malpractice case. These limits, known as “caps,” restrict the amount of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, that a plaintiff can recover. As of 2021, the non-economic damage cap for medical malpractice cases in Texas is $250,000 per healthcare provider, with a maximum of $750,000 for all healthcare providers involved in the case.
However, it’s important to note that these caps do not apply to economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages. Plaintiffs can still recover the full amount of economic damages that they have incurred due to the malpractice. It’s also worth noting that there are no caps on punitive damages in Texas medical malpractice cases, which are designed to punish the defendant for egregious conduct and deter similar behavior in the future.
Find an Experienced Gallbladder Surgery Error Attorney in Harlingen, Texas
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a gallbladder surgery error, it is crucial to contact an experienced gallbladder malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. The Snapka Law Firm specializes in gallbladder surgery malpractice cases and has a proven track record of success in obtaining compensation for our clients. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if we win your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.
What Makes the Snapka Law Firm, Injury Lawyers Different?
At the Snapka Law Firm, we understand the devastating consequences of a serious injury resulting from another's negligent actions. Not only do we provide tenacious legal representation, we help you get through this trying time by dealing with the burdens of your personal injury case on your behalf. Every case we accept is handled personally by one of our attorneys who will be committed to helping you understand the process while preparing your case for resolution. As a small but highly focused firm, we provide a more personalized attention to detail that you won't often find with larger law firms. With decades of courtroom experience, the Snapka Law Firm has delivered our clients millions of dollars in compensation as a result of successful verdicts and settlements. With our personalized touch, extensive experience, and strong relationships with investigation specialists and industry experts, you'll be represented by one of the best personal injury law firms in South Texas.
Kathryn Snapka is one of the few attorneys in Texas that is board certified in personal injury trial law and her firm has been recognized by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Super Lawyers, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, American College of Trial Lawyers, and American Board of Trial Advocates. Our firm has won hundreds of cases for injury clients resulting in a reputation amongst defense attorneys that deters them from taking their case to trial against us. When working with the Snapka Law Firm we fight for the highest compensation for your losses and damages with the least amount of inconvenience to you. If you have been a victim of a serious injury, contact us for your free personalized consultation today.