Change is a way of life, even on the operating table

  • Posted on: October 20, 2022

There could be a possibility or need for performing another procedure, than the planned one, when patient is being operated. It is within the contours of law. Doctors / surgeons cannot be held negligent in such instances as long as they follow standard protocol.

The patient was operated for removal of gall stones. While performing cholecystectomy, the surgeon noted dense adhesions. Even cystic duct could not be traced. It seemed to be merged with common bile duct. Hence, the surgeon performed partial cholecystectomy and removed the stone by milking method.

It was later discovered that the patient suffered from chronic cholecystitis.

The patient recovered but developed complications again. He approached another doctor who diagnosed reflux esophagitis and duodenal ulcer.

The patient was treated at two or three hospitals, but unfortunately died after some months.

His family sued the operating surgeon and alleged that he was negligent in changing the procedure and did not remove the stones properly.

The Commission dismissed these claims as it was observed that the surgeon followed proper protocol. Moreover, incomplete removal of gall stones, in this case, was not negligence as there were other complications that were discovered while the patient was being operated.

The Commission conclusively observed that even subsequent hospitals where the patient received treatment did not point at any error or negligence in cholecystectomy performed by the doctor.

The complaints and case against surgeon were dismissed.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 13th June, 2022