Gastric bypass surgery is used to treat morbid obesity. This surgery should only be used as a last resort. It is a dangerous surgery, with many potential complications. Ten to twenty percent of patients require follow-up surgery to correct complications from the original surgery. One in three hundred patients die from the first surgery. Subsequent surgeries have an even higher mortality rate.
Common short and long-term complications associated with gastric bypass surgery include:
- Abdominal hernia
- Gastric leakage
- Heart problems
- Abdominal infection
- Tearing of the stomach tissue
- Internal hemorrhaging
- Respiratory arrest
- Bowel obstructions
- Metabolic bone disease
Doctors should always pursue all other forms of treatment before considering gastric bypass. This dangerous surgery requires special training and should only be performed by very experienced surgeons.
Doctors have a duty to fully inform patients of the many risks of this type of surgery, and all other treatment options. The initial operation carries a very high risk of death and complications requiring subsequent surgeries. Subsequent surgeries carry an even higher risk of death. Nearly one-third of surviving gastric bypass patients suffer from serious nutritional deficiencies.
Elements of gastric bypass malpractice can include:
- Failure to fully inform patient of risks
- Failure to fully pursue alternative treatments
- Performing the surgery on patients who are not morbidly obese
- Performing the surgery improperly
- Failure to recognize and act on complications
- Performing subsequent operations improperly
- Failure to follow-up with and properly monitor patient
Gastric bypass surgery is a life-changing event for all patients, even those who do not experience complications. Doctors have a duty to work closely with patients before and after surgery, in order to detect any complications and ensure maximum benefits. Before surgery doctors must help patients to achieve the best possible health, in order to make the surgery as safe as possible. Recovery is a long process and the surgery must always be accompanied by diet and exercise programs that maximize healing, minimize nutritional deficits, and maintain weight loss.
Gastric bypass surgery should never be taken lightly by doctors or patients. If you or a loved one has been harmed by gastric bypass malpractice,contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today.