Laparoscopy - Medical Malpractice Lawyers - Personal Injury Compensation ClaimLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
If you think that there were complications with your laparoscopic surgery or that of your next of kin due to clinical errors, then you will need to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer in order to take advice on a potential claim for compensation. Our medical malpractice lawyers will deal with your compensation claim using a contingency fee arrangement and if you don't receive a financial settlement then your lawyer won't get paid. If you believe that your laparascopic surgery was carried out negligently just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices. A laparoscopy medical malpractice lawyer will telephone you as soon as possible.
Laparoscopy medical malpractice claims are increasing in number as the incidence of this procedure becomes more and more common. The laparoscope or endoscope is an instrument that resembles a thin telescope which carries a fibre-optic light system to enable a doctor to see inside the abdomen. The laparoscope is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision and carbon dioxide gas is then introduced to distend the abdominal cavity to enable the contents to be seen. The tools are subsequently inserted into secondary incisions and can be guided by the fibre optic camera that is already in place. The great advantage of this technique is the reduction in the time spent in hospital because only small incisions are required which results in less pain and a faster recovery period. An increasing number of problems that used to require major surgery can be dealt with using the laparoscope which ensures that many patients now leave hospital on the same day as their operation and can quickly resume normal activities. If you have suffered injury as a result of negligent surgery just call our helpline to speak to a laparoscopy lawyer about a medical malpractice compensation claim.
The incidence of these procedures has substantially increased in recent years and has been accompanied by a similar rise in serious complications and fatalities. The main cause of laparoscopy medical malpractice arises on initial surgical entry intended for access for the camera. Most of the legal claims for compensation for personal injury concern damage to the bowel, injuries to blood vessels and the use of electrosurgery, which most laparoscopists utilize to coagulate, cut and dissect. A poorly executed initial entry procedure can, in addition to damage to organs and physical structures, lead to life threatening sepsis and peritonitis. The initial insertion of equipment is made blind and at that point there is a risk of unintended physical damage however there are established protocols and subject to unusual anatomy, any injury at this stage may have been caused as a result of medical negligence thereby enabling a laparoscopy lawyer to take legal action for compensation.
Laparoscopy Vs. Surgery
Laparoscopy removes the need for open surgery, lengthy recovery periods and ugly scars however the minimal visibility afforded to the surgeon can lead to errors, complications and fatalities. There are far more lawyers medical malpractice claims with regard to laparoscopy procedures than for open surgery.
Laparoscopy involves making small incisions to insert a miniaturized camera into the body which then transmits to television screens in the operating theatre and to insert the tools to perform the surgery. The first incisions and insertion of equipment is the time of greatest risk of unintended physical damage. The tools used for laparoscopy require an initial blind entry and most errors are caused by instruments at this stage. The majority of laparoscopic injuries are to important blood vessels and other vascular structures, the walls of the intestines and the bile duct.
If a laparoscopic surgery procedure is carried out following the established protocols then the operation should go smoothly - notwithstanding mis-shapen or unusual anatomy of the patient; even though the first incisions and entry into the body will be made without the benefit of a camera which is the next instrument to be inserted. Ineffective technique and lack of training or experience in carrying out laparoscopic surgery is the cause of most complications and fatalities.
Laparoscopy Surgery Overview
A laparoscopic procedure is one in which an endoscope or laparoscope is inserted through small incisions in the skin into the abdomen or chest of the individual in order to do surgery through the scope. Instruments are associated with the tips of the laparoscope that can cut tissue, tie off tissue and otherwise manipulate abdominal or chest organs. Most laparoscopic surgery is actually done in the abdomen and surgery can be done on the liver, bowel, spleen or gallbladder.
There has been an increase in laparoscopic surgeries in the last thirty years. Laparoscopic surgeries, while mostly done in the abdomen, can be done in joint surgeries, plastic surgeries and other types of surgery, including the chest. It can be used to treat appendectomies and ectopic pregnancies, as well as gallbladder removals. The scope is rigid and the instruments are at the end of the scope. Surgery is then done at a distance from the surgeon's hands.
This type of surgery has revolutionised the way surgery is done. Long incisions are replaced by several small incisions that work together to manipulate the tissue, and cut and stitch tissue together. The rate of complication of laparoscopic surgery is, at a minimum, one to five percent but is as high as six percent in procedures that are major and in very sick patients.
There are several complications of laparoscopic surgery. Anesthesia risks exist and there can be an elevation of CO2 in the bloodstream because the patient is put in a head down position, called Trendelenberg, which causes poor distension of the lungs. CO2 in the blood can result in respiratory acidosis and breathing problems. Shock and circulatory collapse can occur if the anesthesia isn't deep enough. Reactions to the anesthesia can result in circulatory collapse as well.
There is a need to put air into the abdomen via a needle in order to see the abdominal structures well. If you don't do this, you can get air where it doesn't belong. It happens about two percent of the time and results in bubbles beneath the skin where the needle inadvertently put the air into. Air can get into the pericardium, which can cause poor pumping action of the heart. Air in the wrong place can wind up in the space between the lungs and the chest wall, causing a pneumothorax. Air can puncture the blood vessels of the omentum.
You can penetrate the intestinal, esophageal or stomach cavities with instruments used in the laparoscopic procedure. Penetration of bowel is dangerous and requires IV antibiotics and repair of the perforation so as to avoid peritonitis and a bloodborne infection called sepsis. It's a serious complication to perforate the bowel and not notice it because sepsis and death is likely. The same is true of bladder perforation, which is common in lower abdominal surgeries. The bladder is fortunately fairly sterile so that sepsis is less likely but urine will leak into the abdominal space if the perforation is not noticed.
There can be a blood vessel perforation from the needle that blows air into the abdomen. It can penetrate the omentum or can get into the mesenteric blood vessels, which can impair blood flow to the stomach, intestines or colon. Doctors can repair the damage via the laparoscope or may need to switch to an open surgery in order to get the best access to the damaged blood vessel.
A gas embolism can happen if air is introduced into a blood vessel via the laparoscope. This is an often fatal complication of laparoscopic procedure. It occurs when the needle introducing air into the abdomen punctures a blood vessel and introduces air into the blood vessel instead. Doctors may need to puncture the heart and drain out the air from the heart in order to save the person's life.
Doctors can puncture the liver or spleen in a laparoscopic procedure. This is more common if the spleen or liver is enlarged. If it is punctured, it needs to be repaired so that excessive bleeding doesn't occur.
Laparoscopy Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Our laparoscopy medical malpractice lawyers can help you to exercise your legal rights to obtain compensation. Our lawyers will deal with your claim using a contingency fee arrangement which means if you don't succeed in receiving compensation then your lawyers won't get paid. You will receive a complete professional service from lawyers who specialise in claiming compensation for personal injury caused as a result of clinical negligence. For advice at no cost without obligation just complete the contact form and a qualified laparoscopy lawyer will telephone you immediately to discuss your compensation claim without further obligation.
Facts & Figures
- Less than 1% of doctors face any disciplinary procedure each year.
- 10,000 patients may be killed in Canada every year due to clinical negligence.
- Only 12% of patients that suffer from negligence actually files a lawsuit.
- Autopsy studies show rates up to 50% of missed diagnoses resulting in death.
- Medical negligence insurance costs 3% of most physician’s gross income.
- Thousands of medical malpractice compensation claims are filed every year.
- The cost of medical negligence is estimated to exceed $1,000,000,000 annually.
- 5% of physicians account for 50% of medical malpractice settlements.
- Of doctors with 5 malpractice settlements only about 10% have been disciplined.
- 1% of patients treated in hospital were injured and a quarter of those died because of negligence. Negligence by physicians working outside of a hospital environment is even greater.
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here