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  • Surgical Malpractice – Bile Duct Transection During Gallbladder Removal – Holt v. Cumba

Sommers Schwartz attorney Robert Sickels filed a surgical malpractice complaint on behalf of a 31-year-old woman whose bile duct was transected during a procedure to remove her gallbladder.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff was scheduled to undergo a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) on May 18, 2017. Because the assigned surgeon was unavailable, the defendant surgeon performed the operation instead. The plaintiff was discharged a few hours post-surgery despite an elevated heart rate.

Several hours later, the plaintiff presented to the McLaren Lapeer Region emergency room, complaining of increased pain in her upper right abdomen. Lab results showed a critical lactate, and an abdomen and pelvis scan showed a possible bile leak. The plaintiff was placed under observation, and the defendant surgeon sent her home the following morning.

The plaintiff presented to the McLaren Lapeer Region emergency room three days later, on May 21, 2017, complaining of increased pain, incisional drainage, and jaundice. The plaintiff tested positive for increased bilirubin in the blood. Additional testing showed a likely biliary leak and common bile duct obstruction. The defendant recommended the plaintiff be transferred to another hospital, where the next day she underwent an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to examine the pancreatic and bile ducts. The ERCP report indicated there was an “abrupt cutoff of the bile duct” and concern “for complete bile duct transection likely during recent cholecystectomy.” A CT scan of the plaintiff’s liver was also conducted, which showed signs of a right hepatic artery occlusion.

On May 23, 2017, the plaintiff underwent an exploratory laparotomy and Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy, a surgical procedure that addresses bile duct injuries. The plaintiff remained hospitalized for five days.

The medical malpractice lawsuit claims the defendant failed to properly perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and as a result of this negligence, the plaintiff suffered multiple post-operative complications which ultimately necessitated bile duct reconstructive surgery.

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