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Bile duct injuries and their symptoms

Anyone in Oklahoma who has undergone gallbladder surgery will want to know about one complication that could arise from it. In roughly 1 percent of all gallbladder operations, patients find themselves suffering from injuries to the bile duct, which carries bile from the liver to the gallbladder. This is usually due to trauma during surgery.

The result is that the bile duct forms scar tissue, which blocks the bile from draining into the intestines and causes it to leak out into the abdominal cavity. Obstructive jaundice is the most common symptom of these bile duct injuries, and it is the primary symptom among patients who experience immediate symptoms. On the other hand, symptoms may not appear until weeks or months after the procedure.

Other symptoms associated with bile leakage include continual pain and discomfort, nausea and vomiting, and high fevers. About 20 percent of patients suffering from bile duct injuries are also found with injuries to the hepatic artery, the vessel that supplies blood to the liver. Since most patients recover quickly from gallbladder surgery, those who do not should seek medical attention; doctors should also look out for issues when following up on patients.

To begin with, though, the trauma causing the bile duct injury could be considered the result of a surgical error that in some cases could rise to the level of medical malpractice. People who have been harmed in this type of a situation might find it advisable to discuss their situation with an attorney who has experience representing victims of medical professional negligence.