When to Claim Medical Malpractice for Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery, frequently referred to as gastric banding or stomach stapling, is the only bariatric (weight loss) surgery option used to treat morbid obesity in patients for whom traditional weight loss solutions (e.g., dieting and exercise) have been ineffective. For most patients, this surgery is instrumental in preventing overeating by physically limiting the amount of food they can consume at one time. 

Essentially, this restrictive operation reduces the volume of the stomach by creating a small stomach pouch through the use of staples and a band. This pouch is large enough for small amounts of properly masticated food to pass into the stomach. The GI tract remains intact. Stomach stapling is supposed to work hand-in-hand with healthy eating and increased physical activity for safe and effective weight loss. 

Unfortunately, bariatric surgery carries some inherent risks, making many surgeons wary of performing them before less extreme measures have failed. When they perform the surgery, however, it is expected that they do everything reasonably possible to ensure the success of the operation from pre-op to post-op. 

But, when the standard of care is intentionally or unintentionally neglected, serious injuries, pain, and additional medical expenses can occur, bringing patients physical and emotional suffering, financial hardship, and more. For example: a surgeon performs a stomach stapling procedure wherein the staples were too tight. A revision was made, but the initial stapling caused permanent gastrointestinal problems. This surgical mishap would most likely fall into the category of medical malpractice, and compensation would be well-deserved. 

Fortunately, at Gershon, Willoughby, & Getz, LLC, a top birth defect law firm in Baltimore, MD, we understand the medical standards of care and know how to find evidence of and prove medical malpractice should it occur at any time during the gastric bypass surgery process. 

When Malpractice Happens During Surgery

Medical malpractice can occur at any time throughout the three stages of surgery listed and elaborated on below. In order to avoid malpractice claims, surgeons will usually follow this routine:

Pre-Op: During pre-op, proper discussion and evaluation must take place to ensure that the patient is healthy enough to have the surgery. The surgeon must also inform the patient about what the surgery entails, possible alternatives, risks and side effects, benefits of the surgery, and recovery time expectations. The patient must give informed consent before taking the next step.

Surgery: A surgeon must be adequately trained and experienced to safely perform the operation. The surgeon must also effectively communicate with the surgical crew, perform the right surgery on the right body part, and remove all tools and sponges before concluding the procedure. 

Post-Op: After the surgery, patients are prone to infections and complications that can disrupt their recovery. The surgeon must follow-up with the patient, confirm any possible issues, and take immediate action if something is wrong. 

Gastric bypass surgeries, including adjustable gastric banding (AGB), vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG), and vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), have their risks and rewards, but patients should always be properly informed of the risks, physically and mentally able to withstand the operation, and reasonably protected from surgical and recovery complications.
If any part of the surgical process is neglected, bringing in the medical malpractice professionals and leading cerebral palsy attorneys at Gershon, Willoughby, & Getz, LLC is the best way to get the compensation you deserve for your troubles. Call us today to set up an appointment!