Laparoscopic Cholecystotomy

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This year alone, one million people will learn that they have gallstones and join the twenty million people in the United States that have previously been diagnosed. Laparoscopic cholecystotomy is a relatively new surgical procedure of the gallbladder that helps patients with gallstones. As with every surgery there are numerous risks involved that can be potentially life threatening.  If you or a loved one feel you have been a victim of medical malpractice, please contact us to speak with a qualified attorney who can help.

Function of the Gall Bladder

The gall bladder is responsible for concentrating bile and storing it until it is needed to aid in the digestive process. When the extra gall (concentrated bile) is needed, particularly when fatty foods are being digested, the gallbladder contracts. Gallstones can cause severe pain when they obstruct the gallbladder's ability to contract or when they pass through the small ducts meant only for fluid. Averaging two centimeters in size, gallstones are made primarily out of cholesterol. Laparoscopic cholecystotomy is a procedure that can alleviate the pain and potentially life threatening complications caused by gallstones.

Associated Risk Factors

Gallstones are more common in women than men and can be associated with the following risk factors.

  • multiple pregnancies
  • obesity or rapid weight loss
  • age
  • some ethnic populations

Removal of the Gallbladder

Laparoscopic cholecystotomy surgery is an innovative gallbladder technique first performed in the United States in 1988. A laparoscope is a video camera device that allows medical professionals to view the internal structures of the gallbladder and vital structures. In laparoscopic cholecystotomy, an open operation is not necessary. Laparoscopic cholecystotomy involves making several small abdominal incisions where trocars are inserted allowing the surgeon to perform the operation using laparoscopic visualization to remove the gallbladder from the body.

Laparoscopic cholecystotomy must be done properly in order to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences. Careful care must be taken to identify, isolate, and divide the cystic duct and artery for the removal of the gallbladder. The benefits of laparoscopic cholecystotomy include shorter post-op hospitalization (one or two days) and shorter recovery time (one to two weeks). Pain caused by laparoscopic cholecystotomy is comparatively less than from traditional techniques. The drawbacks to this surgery include higher instances of bile duct injuries and medical malpractice risks.

Alternative Treatments 

Prior to the availability of laparoscopic cholecystotomy to treat gall bladder problems, other treatment options were available. The most common treatment of gallstones before laparoscopic cholecystotomy was an open abdominal operation to remove the gallbladder from the patient in a cholecystectomy. Though the mortality rate for this procedure is relatively low (.05 percent of surgeries), post surgery recovery involved a five day hospital stay and at least three to six weeks of convalescence.

Other alternative treatments for gallbladder problems

  • oral bile acid dissolution therapy
  • extraction of the gallbladder through a catheter
  • fragmentation of the gallbladder through shock wave lithotripsy combined with dissolution techniques

Because these procedures do not remove the gallbladder, these alternatives may lead to reoccurring gallstone problems.

Contact an Attorney Near You

If you have had a laparoscopic cholecystotomy and been injured as a result of medical malpractice from this procedure, you may wish to speak to a medical malpractice attorney who can advise you of your rights and options in a case.  For more information on laparoscopic cholecystotomy injury cases, please contact us today. We are specialized in handling medical malpractice suits and can quickly determine if you should pursue your case.

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