In November 2008, 26-year-old Heather Hinshaw underwent gallbladder surgery at Trinity Medical Center in Rock Island, Ill. The general surgeon who did the surgery thought he saw a stone in the common bile duct during an intraoperative cholangiogram, which is a procedure using a catheter to inject dye into the gallbladder to better visualize the blockage using X-ray. He referred the patient to a gastroenterologist, the defendant Ahmad Cheema, M.D.
A few hours after the gallbladder surgery, Dr. Cheema decided to perform an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), but he did not look at the cholangiogram results or discuss the case with the referring general surgeon.
Hinshaw did not have jaundice, yellowing of the skin, or any other symptoms of a stone in the common bile duct at the time. During the ERCP procedure, Dr. Cheema introduced a guidewire into the pancreatic duct and the wire curved back on itself puncturing the patient’s pancreatic duct.