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When bariatric surgery goes wrong

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

Patients who undergo bariatric weight loss surgery usually do it as a last resort after many failed attempts at dieting. Before the actual surgery can occur, patients must participate in a 6-month long bariatric boot camp. 

There are nutrition classes, diet evaluations and plenty of pre-surgical weigh-ins with the surgical team. Patients are put on a liquid protein diet to get their systems used to ingesting less food. Only after completing the boot camp can the surgery be scheduled.

Recovery is difficult at best. Patients spend weeks following the surgery on a liquid protein diet and can only consume a few ounces at first. Eventually, patients are able to consume up to 1.5 cups of food at mealtime. Given the commitment that it takes for patients to endure the surgery and all of the dietary requirements, it can be disheartening when things go wrong.

Types of bariatric surgery

Weight loss surgery creates a small pouch that’s about the size of your thumb, thus forcing the patient to eat significantly less than they normally would. There are several types of bariatric surgery: 

  • vertical banded gastroplasty
  • laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding 
  • Gastric sleeve bypass
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (the most common procedure)

Types of malpractice associated with bariatric surgery

Patients know to expect some difficulties during recovery. However, there are times when critical mistakes made during surgery can lead to medical malpractice. Some examples include:

  • Failure to diagnose sepsis
  • Failure to diagnose leaking gastric fluids
  • Failure to diagnose a pulmonary embolism
  • Failure to address malabsorption issues
  • Allowing a patient who is not a good candidate to have the surgery.
  • The surgeon’s lack of experience with the procedure

When any of the above situations occur, the doctor, their surgical team and the hospital may be accountable. Seek legal guidance to find out if you have a valid medical malpractice claim.