Gastric bypass surgery has become commonplace. Surgeons in the United States performed over 220,000 gastric bypass operations in 2015. On balance, this is probably a good thing because, in some cases, gastric bypass surgery is the best solution for patients with hard to control obesity.
There are two general paths for weight loss surgery. The first is a restrictive surgery. The second is malabsorptive/restrictive (by-pass) surgeries.
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At least some studies have shown that gastric bypass surgery provides generally good outcomes in bringing about weight loss and eliminating type 2 diabetes. There is also no question the technology to perform gastric bypass surgery is helping to eliminate risk and decrease recovery times from the procedure.
The most common procedure -- the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass – is not particularly complex. Other procedures for weight loss can also generally be done with relative safety. Still, a lot of patients are still dying from gastric bypass surgery - 2 percent – according to the AMA Journal. Complications range from infection, gallbladder injury and disease, blindness, blood clots, hernia, ulcers, peritonitis, and bowel obstruction. This is just too many people dying and many of these people die from medical malpractice.Gastric Bypass and Malpractice
Without a doubt, there are risks with any surgery and gastric bypass is major surgery. Accordingly, there are many serious injuries and even deaths as a result of gastric bypass surgery that do not involve medical malpractice. Most doctors are performing these procedures well and without complications.
But these operations cost in excess of $25,000. This lures in surgeons who should not be performing these operations either because they do not have the skill or because the patient is a poor candidate for the procedure.
So you have a small number of unqualified surgeons committing malpractice on a lot of patients. Sometimes, the medical malpractice is not during the surgery itself but the failure to manage known complications.
When the surgeon is inexperienced or fails to recognize post-operative complications, bariatric surgery can cause grave injury and death.
For example, failure to diagnose and treat post-surgical leaks. Informed consent is also a big issue in these cases. The standard of care requires that a treating doctor give the necessary information regarding all risks-vs-benefits of elective bariatric surgery.
One type of bariatric surgery that seems to be the subject of medical malpractice cases is biliopancreatic diversion surgery with a duodenal switch (“BPD surgery”). One big issue with these is you need to carefully monitor the patient post-operatively for signs and symptoms of malabsorption and malnutrition. Because the surgery can go too far and make it impossible for the patient get the nutrients she needs. So doctors need to keep a watchful eye post-surgery.
Another common mistake during these surgeries is the failure to diagnose a pulmonary embolism.Getting a Lawyer for Your Gastric Bypass Surgery Case
Our malpractice lawyers handle bariatric surgery cases involving death or serious injury. If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury as a result of an error or mistake during gastric bypass surgery and you have reason to suspect malpractice, call our medical malpractice lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.