Millions of people across the globe struggle with their weight every day. For some, diet and exercise are sufficient. For others, they are forced to consider a more drastic approach. Thousands in New York State alone have at least considered or have had a form of bariatric or weight loss surgery. Though, it does come with numerous risks.
More than two-thirds, or 68% of Americans are considered overweight or obese. This alarming number is the reason obesity is the number one cause of preventable diseases in the United States, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and various forms of cancer. If someone is overweight, they are at an increased risk for all of these diseases, as well as countless other health problems that may result in a shorter life span.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
When diet and exercise are not enough, many overweight individuals look into a more permanent solution. Gastric bypass, LAP-Band, and Sleeve Gastrectomy are among the most popular forms of bariatric surgery. Though they may be considered life-saving, these weight loss surgeries are identified as elective surgery. Most of these procedures are forms of stomach restrictive surgery, in which the surgery physically limits the amount of food intake in the stomach. Others use malabsorption to decrease the number of calories that are absorbed by the body.
Though weight loss surgery may seem like the quicker fix, it is expensive and comes with several risks. Additionally, medical accidents happen that may cause life long problems or even wrongful death. There are numerous complications, such as, abdominal hernia, stomach obstruction, gastrointestinal inflammation and swelling, gallstones, ulcers, stomach perforation, and infection that may arise as a result of bariatric surgery. Leaks in the stomach that lead into the abdominal cavity, gastrointestinal leaks, and issues with the anesthesia are the most common forms of malpractice during weight loss surgery that may lead to severe injuries or even death.
In an effort to prevent these complications, patients undergoing bariatric surgery should look for signs such as:
• Doctor failing to immediately address complaints, concerns, or problems after
• Difficulty breathing;
• Extreme discomfort post-surgery; and
• Doctor or medical staff failing to monitor recovery.
Do Your Research
One of the most overlooked methods to prevent post-surgical difficulties following weight loss surgery is to look into the “Where” and “Who.” Some important things to consider are whether you should have the procedure performed in a medical clinic or in a hospital. If performed in a medical clinic, inquire as to whether they are equipped to deal with emergencies that may arise during surgery like a hospital would be able to do if such an incident occurred. It is also important to choose your surgeon carefully and make certain he or she has the skill and competence to perform the procedure and understands your medical history as well as your concerns.
If you decide to go forward with bariatric surgery, do your homework first and be sure to understand the benefits and short and long term risks of the procedure. Educate yourself on the facility involved and the doctor performing the surgery so you are confident they are capable to handle your medical needs. As personal injury lawyers, we care about the well being of Central New Yorkers. If you or someone you know is harmed as a result of a medical error arising as a result of bariatric surgery, please do not hesitate to contact Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi, & Pearlman. We are The People’s Lawyer and want you to know we are here for you.
Tags: Medical Malpractice
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