Maryland Gastric Bypass Surgery Lawsuits
There can be little doubt about the seriousness of America’s obesity epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, well over a third of the adult population in the United States can be accurately classified as obese. More than 12 million adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 fall into the same category, something which should give everyone real cause for concern.
With obesity widely blamed for serious, preventable health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and stroke, it comes as no surprise that many are turning to bariatric surgeries such as gastric bypass procedures as a means to reach a healthy weight once and for all.
While these operations are often extremely successful, an alarming number of patients each year experience serious complications which can sometimes lead to death. When this occurs, victims and their families should consider filing gastric bypass surgery lawsuits with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to secure compensation and accountability.
Gastric Bypass Surgery Basics
Gastric bypass surgery is intended to address only the most serious cases of morbid obesity, and is described by the National Institutes of Health as a process in which a patient’s stomach is made noticeably smaller thereby allowing food to bypass part of the small intestine.
This procedure facilitates dramatic weight loss because the patient will feel full much more quickly than before the surgery and also because the body will be able to absorb far fewer calories from the food that is eaten.
Two primary types of gastric bypass surgery are typically performed on obese patients, open gastric bypass and laparoscopic procedures. Open bypass involves the making of an incision in the patient’s abdomen, while laparascopic surgeries are characterized by the use of much smaller incisions and camera-guided use of tools within the body.
Both options involve the creation of a pouch at the top of the patient’s stomach, thus shrinking its functional size. Then, the reduced stomach is attached to the midsection of the small intestine, achieving the desired “bypass” of the remainder of the stomach and intestines.
Risks and Benefits of Gastric Bypass
While it is certainly true that gastric bypass procedures have provided tremendous benefits to many who may have struggled unsuccessfully for years to shed unhealthy amounts of weight, surgery of this type is not without serious risk of injury and sometimes even death. The potential side effects of these procedures range from treatable to extremely severe, and there are too many instances in which the harm stemming from bariatric surgery is in fact the result of actionable medical negligence.
Common Gastric Bypass Complications
As acknowledged by the Mayo Clinic, bariatric surgery is not something which should be approached lightly, as there are a number of potentially serious complications and side effects which can result, including:
- Gastric leakage
- Abdominal hemorrhage
- Blood clots
- Pulmonary embolism
- Bowel obstruction
- Systemic infection
- Respiratory or cardiac arrest
- Stomach tissue tearing
Given the severity of the medical problems that can arise following gastric bypass surgery, it is particularly important that patients be able to rely on physicians to adhere strictly to the applicable standard of care.
Errors and Omissions Leading to Gastric Bypass Surgery Lawsuits
Doctors, nurses and other medical staff are by no means infallible. Mistakes can and do occur in the performance of bariatric surgery. Negligence of this type may manifest itself in a variety of ways, such as:
- Improper surgical technique
- Lack of appropriate post-operative monitoring and follow-up
- Failure to promptly detect and address emergent complications
- Failure to secure patient’s informed consent in light of surgical risks
- Performing surgery on patients who are physically unable to withstand procedure
Gastric Bypass Surgery Lawsuits and Fair Compensation
Bariatric surgery offers a true ray of hope for those battling obesity, but the promise of weight loss does not come without real risk. When the procedure’s inherent dangers are compounded by medical negligence, victims and their families are entitled to seek justice and fair financial compensation.
Gastric bypass surgery lawsuits can provide those harmed by a doctor’s failure to meet the relevant standard of care a means to obtain the resources necessary to cover medical expenses, lost wages, funeral costs and in the case of dependents left behind, the financial and familial support they may no longer enjoy.
If you would like to learn how a medical malpractice attorney with our firm can help your family pursue justice in the aftermath of physician negligence, contact us today.