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Gallbladder Surgery Errors: What’s Normal?

At any given time, around 20 million Americans have gallstones, according to the National Institutes of Health. Although gallbladder surgery is typically safe, gallbladder surgery errors can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications.

Knowing the difference between gallbladder surgery errors and expected gallbladder removal side effects is key to knowing whether you are entitled to a malpractice lawsuit. To learn more about possible instances of surgical negligence, read on.

What Are Expected Gallbladder Removal Side Effects?

Patients should expect mild side effects following surgery. Anytime a surgeon cuts tissue and removes an organ, minor swelling and discomfort are common.

Common side effects after surgery could include nausea or vomiting due to the effects of anesthesia. If they place a tube in the throat during surgery, patients may have a sore throat.

Swelling and soreness around the incision site are also common. Difficulty sleeping, restlessness, and digestive problems are also common.

Since side effects are typically a normal part of the healing process, they generally do not make patients eligible for seeking liability on the part of a doctor or hospital.

Common Signs of Surgical Errors

Surgical errors can lead to significant complications or even life-threatening medical emergencies during or following surgery.

Did you know that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States? An average of 250,000 Americans die from surgical errors and other forms of malpractice per year, according to CNBC.

Bacterial Infection

Post-operative infections are a potentially dangerous complication. Typically, the use of antibiotics prevents this complication. But surgical equipment that was not properly sanitized could still lead to a serious bacterial infection.


Shock refers to a sudden drop in blood pressure. Infection, blood loss, metabolic problems, or brain injury can cause complications. Doctors treat this life-threatening complication through IV drips, providing oxygen, medications, or another form of intervention.

Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome

Bile leaking in the stomach and other areas can cause PCS. When surgeons leave gallstones in bile ducts it also causes the condition. Luckily, most symptoms are short-lived.

Symptoms can persist for several months, though. Your general practitioner can prescribe medications to relieve symptoms.

Pulmonary Embolism

Sometimes, a clot can separate from a vein. It can then travel to the lungs. This medical emergency can lead to death.

Symptoms include chest pain, difficulty breathing, and an elevated heartbeat. If you experience symptoms of a pulmonary embolism, call 911 immediately.

Adverse Reaction to Anesthesia

Anesthesiologists take great care to prevent reactions to anesthesia. This is often done during your medical exam.

Although rare, some people have allergic reactions to anesthesia. Symptoms range from mild to severe.

Some medications can promptly address these emergencies.

What Can Lead to Surgical Errors?

Doctors are highly trained. They can still make errors, though, or a member of their team may be at fault.

Lack of Proper Preparation

Maybe the surgeon didn’t properly prepare. Surgeons should plan for complications, and the proper tools should be ready beforehand.

Failure to Notice Surgical Errors

Or, the doctor may not notice an error. Doctors receive training to notice and address errors. But this doesn’t always happen.

If a serious error occurs, they may need to perform emergency surgery.

Communication Errors

The doctor’s job is to make sure his or her team has all the information needed to make an operation go smoothly. Teams can be large, though. And this can make preparing everyone a challenge.

Not surprisingly, many surgical errors result from poor communication practices.

Poor Post-Operative Care and Monitoring

Doctors should schedule follow-up appointments. These ensure that patients heal properly.

Poor recovery can lead to complications. This is often because the doctors did not monitor for signs of complications beforehand.

Deep vein thrombosis can develop in a leg vein during recovery. If patients don’t use compression stockings, a clot can travel around the body and cause damage.


Surgeons often work long hours. And they do it in situations of heavy pressure. And when doctors don’t receive enough rest they are at greater risk of making a mistake.

Examples of Surgical Errors that Lead to Complications

Specific tears that occur when they insert instruments into the abdomen can lead to bleeding and other complications. During gallbladder surgery, they may cut a bile duct accidentally. Or they may push a gallstone into the bile duct.
The surgeon can repair an injury to the bile duct during surgery. Laceration of the intestines or bowels can lead to bile leaks, abscesses, or infections.
Lacerations can occur anywhere. A misguided incision could injure the surrounding arteries or the liver.

Can I Benefit from a Malpractice Lawsuit?

If you suffer from botched gallbladder surgery, our attorneys can help. One of the first steps, once you have contacted our office, is to undergo a medical exam.

During your consultation with one of our attorneys, you will learn the steps of a medical malpractice lawsuit. These steps often include investigation, initial court hearings, discovery, and settlement.

In the event that your case isn’t settled, our experienced attorneys can take your case to trial to earn the highest settlement possible.

Learn More About Legal Remedies to Surgical Errors

Patients should expect mild gallbladder removal side effects. If you suffer from severe complications that result from malpractice, you may be entitled to a settlement.

The monetary award can help you recoup medical fees, pay for corrective surgery, and remunerate you for mental and physical pain and suffering associated with the medical error. To learn more, contact our office today.


In short, if you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your case.

Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.