Laparoscopic Surgery & Trocar Injuries

June 23, 2020 | Uncategorized | By Personal Injury Legal Directory | 0 Comments

As a medical malpractice lawyer, I frequently see familiar fact patterns repeat themselves.  In surgical negligence cases, we are called about bowel perforations, anesthesia errors, inadequate postop monitoring, bile duct injury, malpositioned central catheter, wrong site surgery, hemorrhagic shock and retained foreign object cases most often. Add trocar injury to that list.  

Laparoscopic surgery is a surgical approach in which trocars, short narrow tubes, are inserted through tiny incisions in the abdomen. Long, narrow medical instruments are used by the surgeon to maneuver through, cut, and stitch up tissue. This technique is used to minimize how invasive certain operations will be; these operations can include cholecystectomies, hernia repairs, appendectomies, and female sterilizations. There are many benefits of choosing to utilize the laparoscopic surgical approach as opposed to traditional open surgery. During laparoscopic operations, smaller incisions are made, there is less overall bleeding, less scar tissue forms, there is decreased pain during recovery, and a shorter length of hospitalization for the patient. However, regardless of these advantages, this surgical option comes with its own risks.  Severe, life-threatening or fatal complications can still occur.

Studies of laparoscopic procedures have shown that nearly 50% of complications develop when the primary trocar is inserted to gain entry to the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneal cavity is a space between the parietal peritoneum (the outer layer or membrane that lines the abdomen and covers the abdominal organs), and the visceral peritoneum (the inner layer that encases the internal organs). Usually, trocar injuries happen when internal organs are uncommonly close to the point of insertion or when the trocar enters too deeply into the abdominal cavity as it is inserted in the body. The most likely disastrous complications caused from the initial trocar insertion are vascular injuries to the aorta and blood vessels as well as injuries that puncture the large and small bowels; these injuries are associated with a high death rate. Other components that may incite trocar-related surgical malpractice cases include lack of attaining legitimate informed consent, failure to communicate the risks, and aberrations from proper surgical technique.

Regardless of the type of laparoscopic operation, trocar-related injuries are a leading cause of medical malpractice lawsuits.  A majority of these complications arise during the initial laparoscopic access. Most medical malpractice allegations that emerge from these injuries are due to the surgeon’s failure to identify and correct the injury either during surgery or early in the postoperative stage. To reduce trocar-related complications, experience and thorough training is required; future laparoscopic surgeons must be trained in the fundamental skills and complete specifically constructed fellowships to learn and master the most advanced procedures. This type of experience and training will aid surgeons to manage complications during laparoscopic procedures.

If you or a loved one suffered a severe personal injury or wrongful death due a trocar injury or delayed diagnosis or delayed treatment of a perforated artery caused by negligent trocar use, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, like a medical malpractice lawyer in Cleveland, OH from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., LPA, as soon as you can.