Bariatric surgeries like gastric bypass are complicated procedures. Unfortunately, a surgeon's errors or malpractice makes the risk of serious complications or injury much higher.
More than 100,000 bariatric surgeries are performed each year. The majority of bariatric patients will come through surgery just fine, experiencing only normal complications and adverse effects like pain, fatigue, nausea and surgical site tenderness as they heal. For some, though, bariatric surgery - something usually done as a last-ditch effort to lose weight and get healthy - ends up doing more harm than good.
As the rate of obesity continues to rise in our country, gastric bypass and other weight loss surgeries are becoming more common. Bariatric surgery will usually result in rapid, sustainable weight loss and the resolution of obesity-related health conditions like Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Many patients feel that these benefits outweigh the risks related to invasive bariatric procedures like gastric bypass (also called "Roux en Y gastric bypass" or just "RNY"), duodenal switch, biliopancreatic diversion, vertical sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable gastric banding or distal gastric bypass.
Nonetheless, gastric bypass surgery and other bariatric surgeries aren't a "quick fix" for obesity, nor are they "one size fits all" procedures. There are exacting criteria that must be met before surgery, including:
Only after these criteria have been met and the patient's circumstances are evaluated can a surgeon decide which procedure is appropriate and best-suited to meet the patient's needs. Performing the wrong surgery on a patient (i.e. performing an RNY bypass when a vertical sleeve gastrectomy would have been the better procedure given the patient's unique health history) could end up being just as hazardous as keeping the excess weight.
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with bariatric procedures, including adverse reactions to anesthesia, infection, formation of excessive scar tissue, leaking of the new stomach pouch or the intestines, retained surgical objects (like surgical sponges, clamps, retractors, needles, loose staples, surgical towels, draping and scalpels), blood clots and hypoxia.
Some risks are more common in bariatric patients because high abdominal fat levels can make it more difficult for the surgeon to see blood vessels and vital organs. Should accidental damage occur, the patient could bleed internally, suffer irreparable harm to vital organs or even die unless the issue is diagnosed promptly and addressed immediately. In addition, preexisting conditions like diabetes and heart disease can make it more difficult to heal from surgery, which could lead to even more complications down the road. Bariatric patients with comorbidities need to be treated in an exacting manner and carefully monitored for any signs of complications after surgery, and their surgeons and entire care team must be performing to the utmost of their abilities at all times.
Have you or someone you love been harmed by a surgeon's malpractice during a bariatric surgical procedure? If so, there might be legal options available to hold the at-fault physician or facility responsible; speak with a medical malpractice attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, to learn more.
Keywords: bariatric surgery, gastric bypass, malpractice, negligence, surgical errors
|$15 Million - Jury Award Against Hospital|
|$10.5 Million - Malpractice Infant Brain Damage|
|$9 Million - Brain Injured Baby Settlement|
|$7.75 Million - Pediatric Intensive Care Unit|
|$7.5 Million - Injured Construction Worker Settlement|
|$7.25 Million - Intersection Accident Settlement NYC|
|$5.5 Million - Bus Accident Award|
|$5.5 Million - Injured Child|
|$5.5 Million - Blinded Woman|
|$5.45 Million - Injured Child|
|$5.4 Million - Construction Burn Victim|
|$5.1 Million - Motorcycle Victim|
|$5 Million - Eye Surgery|
|$4.5 Million - Failure to Perform C-Section|
|$4.5 Million - Personal Injury Settlement|
|$4.4 Million - Failure to Diagnose Infection|
|$4.125 Million - Failure to Diagnose Quadriplegia|
|$4.0 Million - NYC Hospital Negligence Birth Injury|
|$3.8 Million - Electrician|
|$3.75 Million - Hospital Negligence Sepsis|
|$3.7 Million - Birth Injury Infant Stroke|
|$3.5 Million - Faulty Freight Elevator Fall|
|$3.4 Million - Surgical Error Bronxville Hospital|
|$3.28 Million - Eye Surgery Case|
|$3.15 Million - Settlement for a Brooklyn Laborer|
|$3.1 Million - Verdict Returned by NY Jury|
|$3.1 Million - Awarded by Brooklyn Jurors|
|$3 Million - Birth Injury Development Delays|
|$3 Million - Settlement Scaffold Injury Hudson Yard|
|$3 Million - Hot Water Burn Death|
|$2.6 Million - Surgical Error Premature Death|
|$2.5 Million - Hospital Malpractice Toddler Hemiplegia|
|$2.4 Million - Failure to Diagnose Lead to Paralysis|
|$2.3 Million - Birth Injury Brain Damage|
|$2.1 Million - Hospital Negligence Birth Injury|
|$2.1 Million - Failure to Diagnose Stroke|
|$2.1 Million - Surgical Error Paraplegic|
|$2.1 Million - Injured Worker|
|$2 Million - Hospital Negligence Permanent Injury|
|$2 Million - Malpractice Settlement Delay in Delivery|
|$2 Million - Verdict against Hospital|
|$1.8 Million - Failure to Diagnose Tumor|
|$1.75 Million - Diagnosing Prostate Cancer|
|$1.5 Million - Prostate Procedure Malpractice|
|$1.5 Million - Delay in Treatment - Nerve Damage|
|$1.4 Million dollar settlement in Action Over Explosion|
|$1.26 Million - Disabled Vehicle's Driver Hit|
|$1.15 Million To Slip-and-Fall Victim awarded by Jury|