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  • Writer's pictureAdam Funk

Gallbladder Removal Gone Wrong: When Surgery Leads to Suffering

Gallbladder Removal Gone Wrong: When Surgery Leads to Suffering

Gallbladder removal, also known as a cholecystectomy, is a common laparoscopic surgery performed to remove a diseased gallbladder. While generally safe, there are inherent risks associated with any surgery. Unfortunately, in some cases, gallbladder surgery can go wrong, leading to serious complications and lasting health problems.

This blog post will explore how gallbladder surgery can go wrong and the potential legal recourse available to patients who suffer harm due to medical negligence during the procedure.

Understanding Gallbladder Removal

The gallbladder is a small organ located near the liver that stores and releases bile, a digestive fluid that helps break down fats. Gallstones, hardened deposits of cholesterol and bilirubin, can form in the gallbladder, causing pain and inflammation. When gallstones become problematic, gallbladder removal surgery may be recommended.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the most common approach, utilizing small incisions and a camera to visualize the surgical area. While minimally invasive, complications can still arise.

Common Complications of Gallbladder Removal

While most gallbladder surgeries are successful, some complications can occur. These can be categorized into two main areas:

  • General Surgical Complications: These are potential risks associated with any surgery, such as:

  • Infection

  • Bleeding

  • Anesthesia complications

  • Blood clots

  • Pneumonia

  • Complications Specific to Gallbladder Removal: These are more specific to the surgery itself and include:

  • Bile duct injury: This is the most serious complication and can occur when the bile ducts, which carry bile from the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine, are accidentally damaged during surgery. This can lead to bile leakage, infection, and even liver damage.

  • Injury to surrounding organs: The surgeon may unintentionally injure nearby structures like the intestines,bowels, or blood vessels during the procedure.

  • Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas can occur if bile leaks into the pancreas.

  • Postcholecystectomy syndrome: This refers to ongoing digestive issues like diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain after gallbladder removal.

When Complications Signal Medical Negligence

While some complications are unavoidable, others may be the result of medical negligence. Here's what could indicate a potential case of malpractice:

  • Failure to diagnose the gallbladder issue accurately: A misdiagnosis could lead to unnecessary surgery or a delay in necessary treatment, worsening the condition.

  • Surgical errors during the procedure: Unnecessary damage to bile ducts, intestines, or other organs due to carelessness or lack of skill could be considered negligence.

  • Failure to identify complications in a timely manner: If a complication arises during surgery but is not addressed promptly, it can lead to further problems.

The Impact of Gallbladder Surgery Gone Wrong

Complications from gallbladder surgery can have a devastating impact on a patient's life. Potential consequences include:

  • Extensive medical bills: Additional surgeries, hospital stays, and ongoing medications to manage complications can lead to significant financial strain.

  • Chronic pain and discomfort: Injuries or ongoing digestive issues can cause persistent pain and limit a person's ability to live a normal life.

  • Loss of work and income: Recovery from complications may require extended time off work, leading to lost wages and reduced earning potential.

  • Emotional distress: The physical pain and disruption to daily life can cause significant emotional and psychological stress.

Protecting Your Rights: Seeking Legal Help

If you have suffered complications from gallbladder surgery that you believe were caused by medical negligence, it is crucial to seek legal counsel from a qualified personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and determine if you have a case for medical malpractice.

Here's how a personal injury lawyer can assist you:

  • Investigate the circumstances: Your lawyer will gather medical records, consult with medical experts, and reconstruct the events surrounding your surgery to determine if negligence occurred.

  • Calculate the damages: This includes medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any future medical needs arising from the complications.

  • Negotiate with the healthcare provider's insurance company: Your lawyer will negotiate a fair settlement to compensate you for the harm you've suffered.

  • File a lawsuit if necessary: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can file a medical malpractice lawsuit to pursue compensation in court.

Remember: There are often time limits for filing a medical malpractice claim. It's important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after experiencing complications from gallbladder surgery.


Gallbladder removal surgery is a common procedure, but it's not without risks. While complications can sometimes be unavoidable, medical negligence can play a role in certain cases. If you have suffered due to a botched gallbladder surgery, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and ongoing medical expenses.


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