Perforation of Small Intestine During Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

June 1st, 2017

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, commonly referred to as a “lap choly,” is a procedure that involves removing the gallbladder. A patient may need removal if the gallbladder is full of gallstones (cholelithiasis), inflamed, or infected (cholecystitis). When a lap choly is needed, laparoscopic techniques are used to perform this minimally invasive surgery with the assistance of a video camera and several thin instruments.

The laparoscopic incisions, each one about ½” in size, limit the surgeon’s view of the patient’s abdomen. This limited view during surgical dissection and electrocautery can be associated with serious complications. Several factors may play a role in causing these injuries, such as the complexity of the case and the experience of the surgeon.

Although injury to the common bile duct (the tube that carries bile from the gallbladder to the small intestine) is one of the most serious complications of gall bladder surgery, injury to the small bowel (small intestine) can occur as a result of a medical provider’s incorrect use of surgical tools during laparoscopic cholecystectomy.  Perforation or laceration of the small intestine during lap choly can occur when the nearby wall of the small intestine is cut by a surgical tool or burned during electrocautery.  If left undetected and not quickly repaired, a hole in the small intestine can cause bile to leak into the abdomen and can lead to life-threatening infection (abscess, peritonitis and sepsis). The duodenum (upper section of the small intestine) or jejunum (the middle portion of the small intestine) are the two most likely sections of the small intestine to be negligently damaged during laparoscopic gall bladder surgery.

Before laparoscopy is performed on a patient, the patient must be properly evaluated, including a full clinical history and thorough clinical examination. If you would like to discuss your potential claim arising from an intestinal injury during laparoscopy, the attorneys at Yost Legal Group are experienced professionals ready to investigate your claim with compassion and determination.

Call The Yost Legal Group today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529) for a FREE, confidential, no-obligation consultation. At The Yost Legal Group, there is no fee or expense unless you recover.