The medical malpractice attorneys at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC represent weight loss patients who suffer complications following bariatric surgery at hospitals throughout the state of Connecticut. If you or someone you love underwent weight loss surgery at St. Vincent’s or another Connecticut hospital and suffered a severe infection or other serious complications, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more, schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney to discuss your case today.
St. Vincent’s has a bariatric (weight loss) surgery program to treat patients with clinically severe obesity. Bariatric surgery is done by either reducing the amount of food the patient can eat or by interfering with normal digestive processes.
All of the hospital’s bariatric surgeries are done using a laparoscopic procedure that is much less invasive than regular surgery. With this technique, the surgeon makes a number of small incisions in the abdomen to reach the stomach and intestines. He or she then uses small thin tools inserted through the incisions to accomplish the surgery. The method is less traumatic to the patient who also heals more quickly compared to normal surgery.
It is important for these patients to maintain a proper diet and exercise to obtain the best results with any of the procedures.
The operations the surgeons perform to reduce the amount of food the stomach can hold include laparoscopic gastric banding and the sleeve gastrectomy procedure. A second way to reduce the amount of food that turns into calories is to use a process that includes both restriction and malabsorption.
Gastric Banding Procedure
This technique involves the surgeon inserting an inflatable silicone band (either the Lap-Band® or the Realize® Band) around the upper portion of the stomach. The band is set firmly in place and connected by a thin flexible tube to an access port that is inserted just below the skin. The doctor is able to adjust the size of the banded-off portion of the stomach by inflating or deflating the band. The procedure controls how much food the patient can eat. This reduces appetite and the rate of digestion.
Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure
The surgeon uses this method to separate a large part of the stomach with staples. This larger portion is discarded. What remains is a small tube or sleeve-like organ. Some say it resembles a banana. This restricts how much food a person can consume.
Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass procedure
This procedure uses two approaches to reduce the amount of calories absorbed by the patient. One makes part of the stomach smaller, restricting how much food can be consumed. The other part of the procedure attaches this smaller pouch of a stomach, bypassing a larger portion of the organ and a part of the intestine and attaching the pouch to the rest of the intestine. This bypasses a large part of the area where digestion occurs. The method both reduces how much a person can eat and results in the food that is eaten to be poorly digested and absorbed into the body, thus reducing calories that are absorbed.
Risks of Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is not risk free, just like any other type of surgery. Some risks of bariatric surgery include:
- Leakage from the stomach into the abdomen
- Blood clots
- Respiratory problems
- Anesthesia errors and allergy to anesthesia
Bariatric Surgery Malpractice
Although there are risks associated with all weight loss surgery procedures, these risks are increased if the surgeon or any other health care provider fails to take proper care of the patient. When mistakes are made before, during or after surgery, the patient is at danger of suffering serious complications. Examples of mistakes include:
- Failure to detect complications
- Delay in diagnosis of complications
- Misinterpreting vital signs
- Failure to communicate with other staff or with the patient
- Injury to arteries or veins during the procedure
- Failing to close segments of the bowel or stomach properly
- Failing to properly treat or identity the symptoms of infection
If you’ve been harmed by bariatric surgery done at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, you should speak with an attorney to find out if your injuries were caused by medical mistakes such as these.
About St. Vincent’s Medical Center
St. Vincent’s Medical Center is a 473-bed teaching facility with a Level II trauma center. The medical center serves the community surrounding Bridgeport, Conn., where it is located. In Westport, Conn., the hospital runs a 76-bed inpatient psychiatric facility.
The hospital is a subsidiary of St. Vincent’s Health Services and a member of Ascension Health, the largest Catholic non-profit healthcare program in the U.S. Its medical staff has 450 physicians who come from more than 50 specialties. Over 2,000 people work for the hospital.
Its teaching affiliations are:
- Quinnipiac University School of Medicine (whose first class of students will begin school in 2013).
- University of Connecticut School of Medicine
- New York Medical College
St. Vincent’s regional “centers of excellence” are:
- Cancer care
- Diagnostic medicine
- Women’s and family services
- Behavioral health
- Senior health
In addition to these, other medical specialties and services the medical center offers include:
- Internal medicine
- Emergency care
- Bariatric surgery
Contact a Connecticut Weight Loss Surgery Lawyer for Help
If you or someone you care about has suffered serious complications after weight loss surgery at St. Vincent’s or another hospital in Connecticut, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries and suffering. The attorneys at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC are known for their experience and success in medical malpractice claims. They will evaluate the details of your case and will work with experts to identify what went wrong. To find out if you have a claim and are entitled to compensation, contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC for help today.