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Lap Chole Malpractice | Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Lap Chole is short for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, which is a medical procedure in which the doctor surgically removes the gallbladder with the aid of a laparoscope.  A laparoscope is a small camera that is inserted into the abdomen.  In this surgery, the doctor removes the gallbladder by making four small incisions in the abdomen before ultimately removing the gallbladder.  Lap Chole is the most common method for removing the gallbladder used today.

The gallbladder is attached to the liver and holds bile, which is used to help digest food.  Sometimes bile can harden into sediment called gallstones.  Gallstones can remain loose in the gallbladder or they can block the gallbladder outlet.  Either of these situations can cause pain when the gallbladder contracts.  Swelling, inflammation, and - rarely - gangrene can result from this situation.  There are no medical alternatives to surgery when the gallbladder has reached the point that it is causing pain.

There are risks associated with lap chole which the patient should be aware of.  In addition to the normal risks of receiving general anesthesia and having surgery, lap chole carries the additional risks that the bile duct or loop of bowel may be damaged.  If this happens, complex surgery is often needed to correct the problem.  Bile may also leak from the where the gallbladder has been removed and collect in the abdomen causing jaundice.  To correct this, a doctor may need to perform surgery to insert a drainage tube.

Each year nearly 500,000 people have gallbladder surgery, including lap chole operations.  Approximately 100 people die and 10,000 are injured each year due to errors or complications with a lap chole procedure.  One common cause of these complications is the failure of the doctor to properly identify and operate on the cystic duct, as opposed to the bile duct.  When a patient is injured because of a doctor's error, the patient may have a claim for medical malpractice.

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