OK, that's enough fun for a while - now back to the bad news. Cholecystectomy - or gallbladder removal - is one of the most common surgical procedures, with around 750,000 performed in the States alone every year.
Unfortunately, the bile duct is often damaged during the procedure, and this happens in 1 out of every 200 operations, which equates to 3,750 injuries happening every year in the USA during a cholecystectomy.
While the injury can easily happen, it's very difficult to repair. As a result, patients who are injured are three times as likely to die compared with those not injured.
The answer? An expert team of surgeons is needed to be on hand to repair the damage caused by their less-experienced colleagues.
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2003; 290: 2168-73).
Boy, that was gloomy, too. Let's see if our readers have a lighter touch. . .