Laparoscopy Complications Are on the Rise

surgeons performing a Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy and related technologies have been around for the last 40+ years. The technique involves using a rigid or flexible tube through which a camera and light are passed.  The devices that can be introduced include instruments for cauterizing wounds or cutting or removal of tissue.  The laparoscopy provider makes a small incision in the body and introduces the instruments into the abdomen.  Air is introduced to make the abdominal contents more visible and accessible and the surgeon works through the tube.  Just about any abdominal surgery can be carried out using this technique. The riskiest part of the procedure is upon initial entry of the camera which must be done blind. There are well established protocols and failure to comply may result in injury leading to legal action for compensation by medical malpractice lawyers

Laparoscopic Procedures

The major laparoscopy procedures possible include laparoscopic pelvic surgery including removal of myomas on the uterus or doing a tubal ligation.  A gallbladder can be removed through a laparoscope and heart burn surgery, such as a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication can be done.  Biopsies lend themselves well to laparoscopic surgery.  Bariatric (weight loss) surgery can be done via a laparoscope.


Laparoscopic surgeries share the same complications of normal open surgery, such as bleeding, blood clots, and infection.  Laparoscopic surgeries have a higher than normal risk of perforation of a bowel structure because it is not always easy to get a good view of everything inside the abdomen and a suture or the device itself can puncture the bowel.  This leads to bacteria spreading throughout the abdomen, peritonitis (infection of the abdominal contents) and sepsis (a blood infection).  Sepsis has a high rate of death, especially if caught too late. An unintended puncture may be negligent and result in legal action by a medical malpractice lawyer.

Bleeding Risk

Laparoscopy also carries a higher risk of bleeding complications, according to  While bleeding generally occurs at the same rate as an open surgery, it is often more difficult to find and deal with.  If the doctor sees bleeding but cannot find the source, an open surgery may need to be done to stop the bleeding.  With a laparoscope, there is a greater chance that the doctor just does not see the site of bleeding.  If it persists with signs of shock or blood loss, emergency open surgery is necessary to find the source of the bleeding and stop it.


There are infection risks with laparoscopy.  Infection can be introduced if the laparoscope was not cleaned properly between patients or if the bacteria are introduced from the skin incision itself.  Either of these situations can lead to peritonitis, sepsis and death.

Related Devices

There are related devices to the traditional laparoscope that have their own risks and complications.  Doctors can use a bronchoscope to look inside the lungs to look for cancer or to take a biopsy.  Bronchoscopy itself is not as risky if the doctor just looks inside the lungs.  The process can cause spasm of the bronchial tree (an asthma attack), which can be lethal.  If a biopsy is taken, however, then bleeding complications can arise and there can be infection introduced into the bloodstream.