There is a growing concern in America regarding morbid obesity and over nine million Americans are classified as “morbidly obese.” Gastric bypass surgery has become a high demand procedure because patients often request it rather than being persuaded to undergo the operation.
While the surgery has proven to be a success for the right patients, it has also proven to have disastrous effects when performed on the wrong patients. The majority of gastric bypass malpractice cases involve surgeons who do not have the needed expertise to carry out the procedure or patients who are not properly qualified for the operation and should have been directed to other forms of treatment for their obesity instead.
Failure to Properly Vet Patients
The weight loss industry has always pushed miracle diets or cures to obesity— which have encouraged overweight people to try to find an easy out to weight loss. In the case of obesity which seriously threatens a patient’s quality of life or survival, gastric bypass surgery can prove to be extremely successful. These patients need to be qualified through the following criteria.
- The patient needs to be at least one hundred pounds overweight or have a BMI of 40. In cases in which weight problems are contributing to other severe medical conditions, the BMI for consideration may be lowered to 35.
- Almost one third of patients over the age of 65 who receive gastric bypass surgery suffer from major complications that threaten or diminish the patient’s life as opposed to only 8% of younger patients. Therefore, age must be considered when vetting prospective candidates for the operation.
- Doctors need to evaluate the patients’ other health concerns and the chances that those concerns will complicate the procedure.
Doctors who fail to properly vet their patients for the procedure are just as much at fault for complications that arise from the procedure as those who make critical errors during the procedure. If the patient should not have undergone the procedure to begin with, the surgeon and attending physicians are liable for any problems that result.
Common Complications Associated With Gastric Bypass Procedures
Studies show that 2% of patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery die in the first thirty days after the procedure and an additional 5% die within a year. The common complications that result from gastric bypass malpractice include bleeding or leaking fluids that cause infections in the abdominal cavity, ulcers, hernia at the site of incisions, gall stones, kidney failure, pulmonary embolism, anemia, osteoporosis or death due to one or more of these complications.
If you or a loved one has been injured during or as the result of a gastric bypass operation, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers want to assist you in your recovery, which includes holding your attending surgeon or physician accountable and recovering damages equal to your medical costs, pain and suffering. Contact us today so that we can arrange a free consultation with you and answer any questions you may have about your rights and how to move forward with your case.