Gastric Bypass Malpractice
Over the years, the number of gastric bypass surgeries has skyrocketed in the United States. The surgery, widely known as gastric bypass, is one that helps people lose weight by changing the way the stomach and small intestine digest food. After a gastric bypass, the stomach area itself is made smaller. Persons who undergo this procedure would feel fuller in eating less food. As a result, food ingested will no longer travel to parts of the stomach and small intestine that break down food. Thus, the body will not absorb all the calories from food eaten.
Gastric bypass surgery involves two basic steps. The first step is to make the stomach smaller. This is done when the surgeon uses staples to divide the stomach into a smaller upper section and larger bottom portion. The top section of the stomach called the pouch is where food first travels. The second step in a gastric bypass surgery is the bypass. The surgeon will connect a small part of the small intestine to a small hole in the pouch. With the bypass, food eaten will travel from the pouch into the new opening in the small intestine. The goal then being that the body will absorb fewer calories. Some gastric bypass surgeries are done with a large surgical cut to open the abdomen.
Another method and less evasive process are with the use of a laparoscope where a tiny camera, the laparoscope, is used in the surgery called laparoscopy. The laparoscopy is less evasive than the surgery that opens up the belly to decrease the size of the stomach and do the bypass whereas the laparoscopy involves a much shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and results in a smaller scar and lower risk of a hernia or infection. These surgeries last between 2 and 4 hours.
Like many things, because of the great number of gastric bypass surgeries also known as bariatric surgeries, complications do arise. The most common complications in gastric bypass surgeries are infection, hernia from the incision, blood clots in the lungs and internal leaking or peritonitis which is where the surgeon has not completely closed the incisions. This can cause sepsis and even death if not acted on quickly to repair and close the leak.
The occurrence of post-surgical problems in gastric bypass surgeries occurs more often in older patients with the most problems occurring to patients of 65-years of age and older.
More than 9,000 U.S. citizens are considered morbidly obese. Obesity is considered an epidemic the U.S. and has led to a sharp increase in the number of these gastric bypass surgeries. More than 175,000 surgeries were done in 2006 alone. It has been noted that in as many as 40% of gastric bypass patients have developed complications within 6 months of surgery.
In addition to the complications of hernia and infection, the following complications are also common:
- Respiratory failure
- Kidney failure
- Bowel obstruction
- Pulmonary emboli
Many gastric bypass patients are simply not advised of the full range of risks that are possible with this type of surgery. Some patients are ill-advised about instructions on post-surgery care.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a gastric bypass surgery, please call us for an immediate free consultation. Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago and Illinois medical malpractice cases for more than 40 years.
With our years of experience in trying and settling gastric bypass cases, Kreisman Law Offices provides the best possible services to our clients. Our service is unmatched. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. There is no charge for a consultation that will include an evaluation of your case.