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Traumatic Bile Duct Rupture

Traumatic Bile Duct Rupture

Traumatic Bile Duct Rupture

Traumatic Bile Duct Rupture. The abdomen serves a variety of important functions in the human body. Home to the liver, the spleen, the stomach, the kidneys, and the intestines, the functions are complex and require a delicate balance to provide the nutrition to all of the different organs in the body. Unfortunately, unlike the chest, the abdomen is not protected by a bony rib cage. This means that the organs are prone to severe injury in a traumatic accident. According to statistics published in the Journal of Trauma and Injury:

  • Over a period of four years, a study was conducted looking at a network of hospitals.
  • Over this time period, about 25,000 people were admitted to hospitals for abdominal trauma sustained in an accident.
  • The liver was the most commonly injured organ, with 40 percent of individuals sustaining damage.
  • The spleen was injured in about 20 percent of hospital admissions.
  • The kidneys were harmed in just over 10 percent of patients.

The liver serves critical functions because it releases enzymes that help people digest their food. These travel through the common bile duct which can be damaged with severe liver injuries.

Trauma to the Common Bile Duct: Blunt and Penetrating

The common bile duct plays an important role and can be damaged in a traumatic accident. There have been multiple research papers published on traumatic bile duct rupture, and the consequences can be significant. The role of the bile duct is to transport digestive fluids from the gallbladder and liver and empty them into the digestive tract so that food can be digested and used for nutrition. The exact mechanism of how the common bile duct is injured is not fully understood; however, it is often damaged following blunt and penetrating injuries to the abdomen. Usually, the surrounding tissues are injured as well. This could include damage to the liver and gallbladder.

Treatment of Bile Duct Injuries: A Surgical Emergency

If people have injured their common bile duct, particularly if it is ruptured, the treatment is emergent surgery. The digestive fluids are often leaking throughout the abdominal cavity, causing damage to the surrounding organs. A trained surgeon will enter the abdominal cavity and repair the bile duct, stopping the leakage of fluids. If there are other injuries, these are often fixed at the same time. After the procedure, the individual is usually not allowed to eat and may be placed on a restrictive diet once given permission to eat again. This will provide the bile duct time to heal without the stress of having to carry digestive fluids.

Future Assistance with Abdominal Trauma

When a loved one is hospitalized following severe damage to the abdomen, such as that of the bile duct, there are lots of issues that a family has to deal with. These include:

  • Will my loved one make it through the surgical procedure?
  • Will he or she be allowed to eat again?
  • Will we be able to manage the medical responsibilities that follow a major abdominal procedure?
  • When will we be able to return to work?

These are all reasonable questions that everyone should ask. One place  a person can turn to for help is an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer. A trained legal adviser has met with many families that have developed these same issues and has the experience to provide help to any family in need.

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Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. A rupture of the bile duct is a surgical emergency. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this article is seen in its original form on Unsplash. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ Traumatic Bile Duct Rupture

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