Articles Posted in Gallbladder Surgery

Ferid Okic’s common bile duct was damaged during a routine gallbladder removal surgery. His injury went undiagnosed for over a month, requiring corrective surgery and significantly delaying Okic’s recovery. Okic sued his surgeon, Dr. Athanasios Diniotias, alleging that both the surgeon negligently performed the surgery and that he was negligent in providing postoperative care.

Most significantly, Okic did not retain an expert qualified to testify regarding the applicable standard of care for performing gallbladder removal surgery.

Just before the beginning of the trial, the trial judge granted several of the defendant’s — Dr. Diniotias’ — motions in limine, including ones barring him from presenting any evidence related to the performance of the surgery because of the absence of expert testimony on this issue. In any event, the jury found against Okic and in favor of Dr. Diniotias and on Okic’s remaining theory of negligence.
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Billy Pierce, 61, was admitted to East Texas Medical Center complaining of stomach pain and vomiting. Gastroenterologist Dr. Gary Boyd diagnosed bile duct stones, acute pancreatitis and cholangitis. Pierce developed sepsis and multi-organ failure. Another gastroenterologist evaluated Pierce and removed his bile duct stones. Pierce recovered after this surgical procedure but subsequently developed worsened cholangitis, which necessitated a liver transplant.

Pierce had been a senior vice president of a chemical company and was earning $900,000 per year, but he is now unable to work.

Pierce sued the hospital, Dr. Boyd and two other treating gastroenterologists. He alleged that the hospital negligently allowed Dr. Boyd to practice when the state medical board had suspended his medical privileges and that Dr. Boyd chose not to remove the bile duct stones, which led to sepsis and the multi-organ failure.
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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.

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