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Weight Loss Surgery and Medical Malpractice

Written by Berkowitz

Weight Loss SurgeryIn the pursuit of losing weight, some physicians have found a way to capitalize on America’s desire to have the perfect body. These physicians forgo standard care practices, take on more patients than they can safely manage, and even skip necessary testing to expedite their patient’s weight loss – all of which put the patient’s health at risk.

Weight loss surgery, known as bariatric surgery, has become a popular surgical procedure for patients who are considered obese. While effective, these procedures are not without their risk. In some cases, this procedure can lead to poor outcomes – and most of those negative results can be prevented.

The Types of Weight Loss Surgery

There are two main types of weight loss surgery:

  1. One that shrinks the patient’s stomach so that he or she is inclined to eat less. This features an adjustable gastric banding and sleeve.
  2. One that shrinks the stomach, but also bypasses a small portion of the small intestine, so that the body absorbs fewer calories with each meal consumed.

Common Mistakes During Gastric Bypass Procedures

Most negative outcomes of gastric bypass surgery occur because a physician fails to provide his or her patient with the standard level of care expected. Some common mistakes that lead to serious injury or death include:

  • Failure to inspect and/or rule out a bowel leak post-op, especially in a patient who has a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute, low blood pressure, low urine output, fever, and pain.
  • Failure of nursing staff to notify the physician of patient complaints or significant changes in vitals – including increased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, spiking fever, etc.
  • Failure to account for and monitor nutritional deficiencies that can be caused by the bypass procedure. Nutritional deficiencies of this nature often lead to widespread nerve damage, as well as brain damage.
  • Performing surgery on patients who are too high risk.
  • Failure to detect leakage of gastric fluid.
  • Failure to diagnose or detect a pulmonary embolism.
  • Failure to detect or diagnose blood clots.

Risks Associated with Bariatric Surgery

There are some risks common to this type of weight loss surgery, which include:

  • Infection
  • Heart failure
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Negative reaction to anesthesia
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Kidney failure
  • Bowel blockages

There is a statute of limitations in regards to how long you have to file a medical malpractice claim. If you or a loved one suffered adverse effects from your gastric bypass surgery, or you feel that your physician acted negligently, you may have a case for malpractice and should speak with an attorney immediately. The team at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC understands the struggles and costs associated with surgical errors and postoperative complications. We will work as your advocate to ensure that your medical costs, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost wages are compensated.

Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Call us or contact us online to get started.