Laparoscopic or “keyhole” surgeries are performed by the thousands every day in the U.S. From spinal repairs to removing internal organs, many surgeries are completed through very small incisions. There are benefits to laparoscopic surgery for the patient, but there may also be risks that need to be considered. There are dangers of completing a complex surgery through a small opening, which may result in preventable surgical errors that injure the patient.
Laparoscopic surgery uses tiny cameras, lights and instruments to perform many types of surgical procedures. The images from inside the surgical area are transmitted through a digital video camera to a monitor. Instead of looking directly at the area through a surgical incision, the surgeon is watching the digital transmission on a screen.
Keyhole surgeries can be beneficial. There is a smaller incision, and less tissue is damaged during the procedure. This means a smaller scar, quicker healing and usually less pain for the patient than with open surgery. They are touted as “minimally invasive” and the benefits can sound enticing. But there are some surgeries that can be risky when performed through such small openings.
Surgical Errors During Keyhole Surgery
The biggest danger of laparoscopic procedures is cutting the wrong tissue. This can occur with any surgery but with the limited view of the laparoscopic camera, the error may not be noticed. One of the most common and dangerous laparoscopic errors occurs with gallbladder removal surgery.
Gallbladder removal, or cholecystectomy, is performed when the gallbladder is inflamed, or gallstones are causing pain for the patient. The procedure is considered “common” and almost always completed laparoscopically through a few small incisions in the abdomen. One of the dangers is cutting the wrong bile duct when removing the gallbladder. This happens more often than it should for a routine surgery and can be life threatening for the patient. Even seasoned surgeons can make this mistake when the view of the area is so limited.
Cholecystectomy errors are just one example of laparoscopic medical mistakes. The worst scenarios are when the errors are not recognized during the surgery and serious complications like internal bleeding or blockages occur. Patients who have preventable injuries from keyhole surgery may be eligible to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you or a loved one were injured due to a medical error during a laparoscopic surgery, contact our team at Race Law Firm. Call our office in Atlanta, GA for a free legal consultation to discuss your claim.
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