A lot of people in the UK suffer from gallstones. In fact, statistics has it that around one in 10 adults in the UK has gallstones. These people will need their gallbladder to be removed via a gallbladder surgery. This surgery is done by way of keyhole surgery and is medically known as laparoscopic cholecystectomy. It is one of the most common surgeries performed in the NHS and is generally considered to be a routine procedure.
Although the surgery is fairly low risk, there have been instances of gallbladder negligence either before, during or after the surgical procedure leading to complications for which an individual may make gallbladder compensation claims.
What Are Gallstones?
Gallstones sometimes known as bile stones, are believed to form when excess cholesterol in bile forms into stones. Gallstones are produced in the gallbladder (a small sack lying on the underside of the liver that stores a liquid called bile or gall). Other substances that make up gallstones include chalk and bile pigment.
In as much as some people with gallstones may not even be aware of the condition as they do not experience any symptom and so need no treatment, complications can arise when the condition is either misdiagnosed, mismanaged, not properly treated or there is a catastrophic error during the otherwise routine gallstone surgery. In such cases, the affected individual may be entitled to make a negligence claim for compensation.
Who Is At Risk Of Gallstones?
Typically, those who are at risk of gallstones are;
- Those who are overweight or obese
- People who are over 40 years old
- Females especially those who have had children
Gallstones Symptoms And Associated Complications
Acute abdominal pain is the main symptom of gallbladder problems. This pain according to the NHS can last between 1 and 5 hours and is felt predominantly in the centre of the tummy just below the ribs in the right-hand side.
The pain can be chronic with the sufferer having excessive sweating and also vomiting. The pain doesn’t just go away by passing wind or going to the toilet.
Also, If gallstones begin to obstruct the flow of bile for extended periods or there is bile duct leak into other organs such as the pancreas or small bowel, some other common bile duct injury symptoms may occur which include;
- Excruciating chronic pain
- High temperature of 38°C or above
- Rapid heartbeat
- Itchy skin
- Shivering attacks
- Loss of appetite
While many people who have gallstones show no symptoms, there are complications which are often very painful. These are;
- Inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis)
- Infection of the bile ducts (acute cholangitis)
- Acute pancreatitis
- A stone passing from the gallbladder to the intestine
- Gallstone ileus
Make a Gallbladder Medical Negligence Claims
You may be entitled to make compensation claims if there was a delay in diagnosis and treatment, or your gallbladder surgery was negligently done causing you to suffer some form of injury or bile duct complications. If there was gallbladder surgical negligence, you may be able to claim compensation by making gallstone Surgery Claims.
An individual can also make an operation gone wrong claim if he or a loved one suffered complications after gallbladder removal due to surgeon negligence.
For instance, the surgeon may cut the common hepatic duct, the common bile duct causing complications for the patient meaning that the patient may require a more complicated reconstructive surgery known as a Roux-en-Y-jejunostomy to correct.
In such cases, the individual can claim compensation for gall bladder negligence. Our Gallstones and the Bile Duct Medical Negligence Solicitors are ever ready to provide expert legal advice and representation for such a person having done so for several clients over the years.
One of the most common complication as a result of negligence is bile duct injury during surgery. This could lead to infection which may spread to the liver causing further problems for the patient.
Some other forms of gallbladder negligence include
- Misdiagnosis- such as misdiagnosing pancreatic cancer as gallstones
- Failing to act on preoperative blood tests results which indicate the presence of gallstones in the bile duct
- The surgeon failing to properly identify the anatomy leading to avoidable injury to other internal organs such as the intestine, bile duct, bowel, blood vessels or liver
- Failing to arrest and promptly repairing a surgical injury to the bile duct, intestines, bowel, blood vessels or liver following the operation
- Incorrectly clipping the common bile duct leading to bile leakage. Failure to identify this and repairing it also leads to complications
- Failure to prescribe proper medications to reduce the risk of thrombo-embolism (blood clots)
If you or a loved one has had to suffer unnecessarily as a result of these forms of negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation for gallbladder negligence.
Consequences Of Negligent Gallbladder Surgery
There are several consequences of negligent gallbladder surgery or complications after gallbladder removal. For example, after a common bile duct surgery, the patient may suffer
- Bile duct leak after gallbladder removal
- Gallstone in duct after gallbladder removal
- Sepsis after gallbladder surgery
- Bile duct infection after gallbladder removal
Also, mismanagement of the condition can lead to-
- Excruciating chronic pain
- Injuries to the bowel, intestines and blood vessels
- Necrosis/death of the gallbladder
- Peritonitis – Inflammation of the abdominal lining
- Acute cholecystitis – Gallbladder becomes inflamed
- Jaundice – Yellowing of the skin and eyes as a result of gallstone blocking the bile duct
- Acute cholangitis – A condition where the bile duct becomes infected
- Acute pancreatitis – This is a severe inflammation of the pancreas. This is a potentially life-threatening condition if not handled urgently
- Gallstone ileus – Obstruction of the bowel by gallstones
- ‘Porcelain gallbladder’ – Here the gallbladder becomes calcified and cannot push out bile into the intestines
- Septicaemia if infection following a poorly done surgery spreads to the blood
- Increased risk of gallbladder and bile duct cancer
Additionally, patients may have to undergo;
- Highly invasive surgery to correct the initial error
- More aggressive treatment leading to increased recovery time
- Suffer damage to other body parts
- Life-long disabling conditions
- Psychological trauma
Also, the patient may not be able to return to work leading to loss of income, other financial losses and becoming dependent on family members or caregivers for assistance in carrying out basic day to day activities.
Reasons To Bring A Claim For Gallbladder Medical Negligence
When we go to see our doctors or GP, we expect to receive professional attention and the right standard of care so as to be cured of our illnesses. Therefore, when the actions of our medical professionals fall below the acceptable medical standards causing injury, harm or complications which could have been well avoided, a compensation claim can be made.
Thus, you can bring a claim if you have suffered-
- A delayed diagnosis
- The wrong diagnosis
- The wrong treatment
- Injury during surgery or other forms of negligence as mentioned above.
By making compensation claims, you do not only get a deserved compensation after a successful claim settlement for your losses, pain or trauma, but it is also an opportunity for the health facility to make internal investigations and make improvements so as to prevent a recurrence.
How To Make A Compensation Claim After A Negligent Gallbladder Removal?
In order to make a successful claim, you should be able to prove the different parts of medical negligence as it applies to your case. These are duty, deviation, direct causation and damages.
What this means is that you need to show that-
- Your doctor or GP or some other medical professional had a duty to care for you (a responsibility to ensure that you get the right quality of care)
- Unfortunately, that duty of care was breached.
- That breach of duty directly caused you harm, injury or complications
- Consequently, you have had to incur damages physically, emotionally, socially and financially as a result of the injury suffered from the negligent treatment you received.
During our free consultation sessions, we will not only explain to you better how to do this, we will also assist you with providing the documents which will serve as evidence to prove your claims.
These will include:
- Detailed statements of events that happened and the hospital staff who attended to you
- Medical reports, tests and scan results
- Statements from witnesses
- Proof of financial losses including out of pocket expenses, past, present and future estimated losses
- Pictures where applicable
- Also, a medical report from an independent medical professional which will detail the severity of injury suffered will also be needed to prove your claims and will also be vital in determining your compensation payout.
Compensation For Gallbladder Negligence
Your compensation payout is not a fixed amount but will be dependent on various factors which form the specifics of your case. This means that two persons claiming for gall bladder negligence will not receive the same compensation amount.
Factors which play important roles to determine your settlement payout include;
- The type of injury suffered
- Severity of injury and your pain and suffering
- Your future prognosis or estimated time for recovery
- Impact of the injury suffered on your quality of life
- Financial losses incurred including any future estimated losses
- Costs of further medical treatment, assistive devices, therapies or rehabilitative care
- Costs of home adaptations and hiring of caregivers
Nevertheless, our solicitors can give you a realistic estimate of what your compensation for your claims will be using our compensation calculator.
Contact Our Gallbladder Negligence Solicitors Today
At MND, we have expert gallstones and the bile duct negligence solicitors who are highly experienced who will take the time to discuss and listen to you with empathy and offer you legal advice if you have a valid claim.
Even if you are not sure if you had suffered negligent treatment, we still will want to hear from you and do a free claim assessment. Alternatively, you can contact us today by completing our quick Free Claim Assessment or call us on 0800 644 4240.
Our lawyers are accredited by prestigious industry bodies such as the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors’ panel, and the Law Society’s panel for clinical negligence solicitors. You can therefore be rest assured that you will receive the best possible legal representation.
Our No Win No Fee solicitors policy still stands. This policy makes it possible for you to make claims without any financial implications whatsoever. This means that you can make claims without having to pay any upfront legal fees. You are also protected from paying us during the entire claims process. Even if the claims turn out unsuccessful, you will not have to pay us a dime.
Only when your claims are successfully settled and won will you be required to pay a “success fee” of 25% of your compensation amount. The rest belongs to you.
We encourage you to reach out to us at your earliest convenience and let us discuss your claims. We are always available and will ensure that you get the best out of an unfortunate situation.