Losing weight is hard. Many people yo-yo diet for decades, ending up heavier than when they began. Many people suffering from obesity have turned to bariatric surgery to lose weight, including procedures such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and lap band surgeries. These bariatric procedures have many risks involved and should be performed only on people who are significantly overweight and who have exhausted other weight loss options. Gastric bypass is an umbrella term that describes several different types of surgeries. All of them share a basic similarity. The surgeon staples or reroutes the stomach so that a person loses weight. Often, the surgery causes a person to feel full much faster than they otherwise would. The surgery also causes food to bypass parts of the small intestines so that it is not absorbed. This malabsorption reduces the number of calories a person consumes.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans each year undergo gastric bypass surgery, either performed laparoscopically or through a large incision in the abdomen. This surgery carries risks, like all surgery. They also present the possibility of significant complications such as gastritis, bowel obstruction, hemorrhage, bleeding, anastomotic ulcers, anastomotic strictures, and hernia. All surgeries also present a risk of bacterial contamination, which may result in a severe and immediate infection. Some surgeons neglect patients after the operation and fail to note complications. Preventable gastric bypass surgery errors have led to disastrous, even permanently life-altering consequences.
Tragically, many of those who turn to bariatric procedures such as gastric bypass surgery suffer severe medical setbacks or lose their lives due to medical negligence. In either case, victims and their families can suffer financial, physical, and emotional challenges, with medical bills mounting and complications worsening. To account for these extensive losses and damages, injured patients and/or their families may file bariatric surgery lawsuits to seek fair compensation for their injuries. Patients who have been catastrophically injured because of preventable gastric bypass errors may be entitled to pursue compensation for injuries or complications that result from medical negligence. If you believe you have been injured because of preventable gastric bypass errors, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano for a review of your case. We help clients throughout the Upstate New York area with offices in multiple convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the medical malpractice field is reflected in the results we have achieved for our clients.
As you can imagine, surgeons can make many errors if they are not using sufficient care or lack the necessary training. These errors can lead to excessive bleeding, tissue death, and internal scarring. Improper banding or stapling could also fail, requiring a second surgery. A gastric bypass is inherently uncomfortable. Shrinking the stomach should make a person feel sick if they eat too much, which should reduce food intake. But pain unrelated to eating might be a sign of a surgical error. Like other surgeries, gastric bypass brings with it certain complications, such as the risk of infection and failure to address elevated or crashing blood pressure. If a patient is put under general anesthesia, then they could suffer other problems when anesthesia is administered improperly. These unfortunate but routine consequences from gastric bypass may happen even under the best circumstances; however, doctors and nurses sometimes make errors. In those cases, patients may have a legal basis for seeking compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. While any violation of the standard of care may be considered medical malpractice, there are some common errors made by doctors that may result in injuries and lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- Improper screening of candidates. A doctor who is negligent in the screening of patients for increased risks may be just as responsible as a doctor who makes an error during the surgery itself.
- Missed bleeding or leaking gastric fluid during surgery. If a surgeon misses even tiny leaks or punctures, it can have devastating consequences for patients and may make the surgeon liable for damages.
- Inadequate postoperative monitoring. If a healthcare professional is negligent in monitoring patients following surgery—whether in the recovery room or after the patient is released from the hospital—it might be grounds for a lawsuit.
- Faulty equipment or sterilization procedures. Sometimes, complications arise not from a direct error on the part of the surgeon but because the equipment itself is defective or was not properly sanitized.
Regardless of whether the patient’s injury results from the surgeon’s lack of training and experience, a medical error during or after gastric bypass surgery can result in serious complications that affect the patient’s health and quality of life. If you or a loved one believes you have been injured because of medical malpractice, you may be able to take legal action against your doctor, the hospital or surgical center, the equipment manufacturer, or others.
Gastric bypass malpractice and other surgical errors can result in a variety of settlement or verdict amounts. Every situation is different, and each case has many factors to consider. Compensation will depend on the type and severity of the injury, the degree of culpability on the part of the medical professionals involved, and additional factors such as loss of earning capacity, future medical expenses, and decreased quality of life.
If your loved one died because of a gastric bypass error, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim to recover damages. In New York, pecuniary losses, such as funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, and lost income, may be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you were injured as the result of a gastric bypass error, you should discuss your situation with the experienced attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas. Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.