Heimanson & Wolf, LLP
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$750,000 Settlement

SURGEON MISIDENTIFIES ANATOMY AND CUTS THE WRONG DUCT DURING GALL BLADDER SURGERY

A young woman in her early 20’s has a history of gallstones. She sees a surgeon who advises her of a surgery that can correct the problem and her symptoms. He tells her that he will perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. That is a procedure to remove her gall bladder. It is a routine procedure.

She undergoes the cholecystectomy, and her surgeon reports that there are no complications. He tells the young woman’s parents the surgery went well, and he discharges her. Her parents take her home. Unfortunately, when she gets home, she has severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Her parents take her back to the emergency room. Doctors run a test called an ERCP and a cholangiogram and determine that the surgeon cut the young woman’s common bile duct during the surgery.

In a cholecystectomy, a surgeon is supposed to clip and cut the cystic duct. In this case, the surgeon misidentified the duct. He clipped and cut the common bile duct, clearly thinking that it was the cystic duct. The common bile duct is not supposed to be cut during this surgery.

Because the surgeon cut the common bile duct, he sends her home leaking bile from the transected common bile duct. So, she has bile leaking into her abdomen causing her to become septic. She must undergo a repair surgery called a Roux en Y surgery to reconstruct the area.

We represented the young woman in a case against the surgeon. We hired experts in the area of bariatric surgery, life care planning, plastic surgery, and gastroenterology to discuss the liability of the surgeon as well as the future care needs of the young lady. Shortly before trial we reached a settlement in the sum of $750,000.