Gastric Bypass Malpractice
If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s never been easier. These days, you can find everything from home gyms to dietary supplements promising a thinner waist. You can simply hire a personal trainer as well. However, some people find they need more extreme measures to get themselves back to a healthy poundage, which is why gastric bypass surgery has become so popular in recent years. Unfortunately, this procedure is not without potentially serious risks.
The Risks of Gastric Bypass Surgery
When you understand how this type of surgery works, it becomes clear that there are risks involved. It’s an invasive procedure that affects the stomach and small intestines. After surgery is over, the stapling and banding involved will actually reroute the path food takes through the body, causing a dramatic loss in weight.
Obviously, every form of surgery carries with it a certain amount of risk. Patients must be made aware of these risks before the surgery. This is the only way they can provide “informed consent” to their surgeon.
With over 140,000 people undergoing gastric bypass surgery every year (10 times the amount back in 1987), many people obviously aren’t too concerned. Before they can have the surgery, a patient must be deemed at least 100 pounds overweight, proven to have tried shedding pounds other ways and even undergo a psychological evaluation.
Keep in mind, too, that gastric bypass surgery can refer to a number of different procedures. These include:
- Open Roux-en-Y
- Silastic Ring Vertical
- Gastric Band
- Adjustable Gastric Band
- Biliopancreatic Diversion
These are just a handful of examples. Given all the people who have these surgeries performed on them every year, combined with how many different kinds exist, there is a risk that malpractice can lead to a patient becoming ill or even worse. Let’s take a look at some of the most common factors where this type of malpractice is concerned.
Inexperience of the Surgeon
Like any kind of surgery, performing a bypass is always a challenge. However, given its rise in popularity, many surgeons could be entering the field without proper experience. As a result, despite their best intentions, they can make careless mistakes during the surgery, putting the patient’s health at risk.
Failure to Diagnose or Treat Infection
Some forms of malpractice don’t involve any action on the part of the surgeon. Just the opposite, actually, they involve inaction by the doctor. Due to the nature of gastric bypass surgery, it’s easy for infection to occur. That’s true with any form of surgery, but the invasive nature of rerouting the body’s digestive system makes it especially true for gastric bypass.
If a doctor isn’t doing their job properly, they may not notice the risk of septicemia and other forms of infection, leaving their patient to suffer later on.
Failure to Treat Gastric Leakage
One common risk with gastric bypass surgery is that there can actually be leakage of the gastric fluid. As you’d expect, this needs to be properly diagnosed immediately or the patient will be at risk of an assortment of problems.
This is actually a fairly common problem with this type of surgery, which is why most doctors know to look for it. If it isn’t caught, the patient can easily die.
Failure to Prevent a Pulmonary Embolism
While less common than gastric leakage, pulmonary embolisms carry the highest risk of death as far as problems associated with this type of surgery go. Any doctor who doesn’t notice the signs and prevent an embolism from happening is all but sentencing their patient to death.
If you or a loved one has recently had gastric bypass surgery and are suffering because of one of the problems listed above, get in contact with a malpractice attorney immediately. You have a right to damages from a personal injury or wrongful death claim and the surgeon in question must be stopped from hurting others.