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Here's a news story about a gastric bypass surgery gone wrong.
Much of the time gastric bypass surgery is a lifesaver but nobody wants to be the exception. Most candidates of gastric bypass surgery have been morbidly obese most of their lives and gastric bypass surgery is the only way they know how to lose weight.
In 1998, a 38-year-old father of four opted for gastric bypass surgery and then died three weeks later. The family was informed that gastric bypass surgery is major surgery but that the patient would be out of the hospital in three days. Within days of his surgery the patient's health worsened and he was transferred to another hospital where a CT scan revealed a large abscess. The patient was treated but he continued to decline.
The official cause of death was abscess, pneumonia, and pulmonary embolism.
Researchers at the University of Washington discovered that 1 in 50 people die within one month of having gastric bypass surgery and that number jumps by five if the surgeon is inexperienced.
A gastric bypass malpractice followed; it was the first of many gastric bypass malpractice cases. The most common problem in bariatric surgery is that the post-operative care is inadequate.
If your loved one has died because of gastric bypass surgery - please contact the medical malpractice law firm Anapol Schwartz so we can determine what your legal options are.
A study by University of Washington researchers found the fatality rate from gastric bypass surgery can be as high as 5 percent for younger patients and 50 percent or more for older patients.
Less experienced doctors and obesity clinics have the highest rates of complications.
Tip: Ask questions about the risks; the risks should not be downplayed. Find out how many previous surgeries the doctor and clinic have done as well as their outcomes.
Gastric Banding Complications: There are fewer complications after Lap-Band™ weight loss surgery than gastric bypass. The most common risks of lap band surgery are nausea, vomiting and gastro esophageal reflux.
Lap band surgery does not cause the dumping syndrome common to gastric bypass surgery, Lap band patients are still able to eat sugary and high-fat foods in small quantities which could be why these patients lose weight slower than those who undergo a more invasive gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric Bypass Complications: There is a longer list of common complications and risks associated with the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure. Among the complications are:
- Bleeding, either internally and at the site of incision.
- Leakage around the internal sutures, causing food or liquids to exit the digestive system into the abdominal wall.
- Internal and external infections.
- Gallstones due to significant weight loss in a short amount of time, which will often require a return to the operating room, and may be life-threatening.
- Gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining.
- Mal-absorption of iron or vitamin B12 which causes anemia.
- Mal-absorption of calcium which contributes to bone loss and osteoporosis.
- Dumping Syndrome-including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a bloated feeling, dizziness and sweating. These symptoms can be somewhat controlled by following a strict diet and continuing with nutritional counseling after your surgery.
- Emotional issues resulting from rapid weight loss and a change in the patient's self-image, or changes in family relationship dynamics after the surgery.
Any operation comes with risks, and obese patients have even greater than normal risks due to common conditions associated with their excess weight, such as diabetes or heart disease. The doctor must be zealous about monitoring and reducing the risk of infections, pneumonia, or pulmonary embolism.
The care you receive after your surgery is particularly important, because this is when the medical staff at the hospital can discover any problems, such as leakage and infection, which will need immediate emergency surgery or treatment.
If you or a loved one has experienced life threatening gastric bypass complications, please contact the medical malpractice law firm Anapol Schwartz so we can determine what your legal options are. Thank you.