If you or someone you love suffered complications such as infection, blood clots or ulcers following weight loss surgery at Griffin Hospital in Connecticut, you may be eligible for financial compensation. To learn more, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC.

Weight Loss Surgery

Griffin Hospital offers three different weight loss procedures for individuals in Connecticut. According to the hospital, weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is the “best therapy currently available for morbid obesity, better than diet and exercise alone.” [1].

Three weight loss procedures done at Griffin Hospital are: Roux-en Gastric Bypass, Lap-Band® Surgery and Gastric Sleeve Surgery.

Roux-en Gastric Bypass

Although it is not for everyone, this common procedure is thought of as the gold standard by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. During this procedure the surgeon inserts thin instruments through small abdominal incisions and observes the instruments’ movements through a camera (scope). This type of surgery is less invasive than the open more traditional gastric bypass procedure. It results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, and is less painful. It also causes fewer problems with wound healing and scarring.

The procedure does have complications, including:

  • Bleeding ulcer
  • Blood clots
  • Dumping Syndrome (this occurs when food goes through stomach too quickly to the intestines may result in nausea, sweating, fainting, weakness and diarrhea
  • Gallstones
  • Infection
  • Pneumonia

Lap-Band® Surgery

During this procedure the surgeon also uses small incisions in the abdomen through which he or she guides instruments using a tiny scope. The band, which is made of silicone, is placed around the upper part of the stomach. It is adjustable and can be made looser or tighter, varying the size of the stomach, the amount of food the stomach can hold, and the patient’s feeling of fullness.

Patients usually have their bands adjusted during an office visit between four and six times during the first year after surgery. Annual adjustments are then made. Patients having Lap-Band® surgery can continue to lose weight as long as ten years after the procedure.

Some complications that may occur in patients having this type of surgery include:

  • Certain foods (for example doughy bread) can get stuck in and block the outlet to the stomach band
  • When the stomach is affected by trauma, such as vomiting, the stomach may slip upwards through the band
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (when this happens, food from the stomach travels backward up the esophagus)
  • Sagging skin that may require cosmetic surgery
  • Other risks, such as infection, can occur that are associated with any type of surgery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

This type of bariatric surgery is for patients who have a high body mass index and are therefore at higher risk of complications from other types of more invasive surgery such as the Roux-en gastric bypass procedure. Gastric sleeve surgery is sometimes done on its own, or at other times is used to help the obese patient lose weight as a preliminary step to another procedure.

After enough weight is lost, some other type of bariatric surgery may be done. When performing gastric sleeve surgery, the surgeon inserts thin instruments through small incisions in the abdomen and is able to guide his tools by watching his work using a tiny camera. The stomach is made smaller using staples. The doctor cuts a large part of the stomach away, leaving behind part of the stomach that resembles a sleeve. The part of the stomach that is discarded produces a hunger-producing hormone called ghrelin. Without this hormone, the patient’s desire to overeat is reduced.

Most patients are pleased with this surgical approach because it greatly reduces problems associated with obesity. In addition, the majority of patients within two years of surgery lose 60 to 80 percent of their excess body weight.

Some complications of gastric sleeve surgery for obesity include:

  • Leaking that occurs where the stomach is stapled
  • The stomach pouch may stretch and the patient may regain weight
  • Certain kinds of soft foods, for example milkshakes, don’t create a feeling of fullness, but the calories are still absorbed
  • Risks that are typically associated with surgery, such as infection

Griffin and Hospital Malpractice

Of course, all weight loss surgery procedures come with certain risks. But, if you feel that something went wrong during or after the procedure, causing you to experience severe complications and injuries, you should contact an attorney to find out if you qualify to file a legal claim. The Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC represent individuals who are injured by hospital malpractice, including those injured during or after weight loss surgery.

To find out if you have a case, contact our law office today.

About Griffin Hospital and Hospital History

Griffin Hospital is a not-for-profit 160-bed institution in Derby, Conn. The community hospital, which was established in 1909, today has more than 280 active and community physicians on its staff. It serves more than 100,000 residents of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Region.

The hospital is affiliated with the Yale School of Medicine and accredited by the Joint Commission, which evaluates performance of and certifies health care organizations around the country. Griffin Hospital writes on its Website that it is the flagship hospital for Planetree, a consumer health organization that emphasizes patient-centered care.

Using the Planetree approach, the hospital has started the Precious Cargo Program for children to help them with fears about their hospital experience. A bright red Radio Flyer wagon with a specially designed canopy drives young patients from the lobby to Same Day Surgery, Radiology or the Emergency Room.

Email access is provided via high-speed Internet to help patients communicate with families, friends or those at work. The nurses’ stations are designed as open workspaces accessible to patients and families rather than the traditional style nurses’ stations. Visitors’ lounges are equipped with kitchens.