Gastric bypass surgery has become extremely popular in assisting medically overweight individuals in achieving a healthier weight. Due to the complexities involved in the surgery, medical negligence can occur, leading to injury and death in gastric bypass patients.
If you or someone you love has had complications associated with gastric bypass surgery, contact the gastric bypass malpractice experts at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. With the help of our network of medical and surgical experts, we can assess your situation and let you know what your rights are.
What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is a form of bariatric surgery that restricts or reduces the size of the stomach and reduces digestion by bypassing a segment of the small intestines, making it harder to absorb calories.
Gastric Bypass Surgery Risks And Complications
There are a number of risks associated with gastric bypass surgery, whether inherent in the procedure or due to malpractice. Some of these risks include:
- Failure to provide appropriate vitamin and nutritional support post-surgery
- Failure to diagnose perforations of the bowel or other toxic leakage in a timely manner
- Failure to diagnose pulmonary embolism
While it may not sound significantly life threatening, failing to provide appropriate vitamin and nutritional support following surgery can lead to life-threatening neurological conditions. Diagnoses that can suggest this type of failure include:
- Peripheral or Polyneuropathy – can cause widespread nerve tissue damage.
- Wernicke’s encephalopathy/Korsakoff Syndrome – can cause short-term memory loss, confusion, loss of vision and muscle coordination issues.
- Vitamin deficiencies – which can lead to permanent nerve damage, memory loss and other neurological problems.
Perforations in the bowel or other leakage issues can have serious consequences, including sepsis and death. Sepsis can also cause kidney, lung, brain and hearing damage if left untreated. Signs of bowel leakage can include:
- Abdominal pain
Pulmonary embolism is the leading cause of death after gastric bypass surgery. This type of embolism develops when a blood clot in the leg travels to the lungs.
Gastric Bypass Malpractice
Many gastric bypass procedures are carried out without incident. When there are complications, it does not necessarily mean that malpractice was an issue. But, there are cases in which physician negligence is implicated. These situations can include:
- Failing to properly assess the patient as a candidate for the surgery
- Performing the surgery without adhering to the appropriate standards of care
- Failing to recognize red flags indicating complications
- Failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing post-surgery issues such as infections, bowel leakage or internal bleeding
- Presence of hernias after the procedure
- Failing to adequately monitor nutrition following surgery
Common indicators of gastric bypass negligence can be:
- Internal bleeding
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
- Organ failure
- Breathing issues
If you have any of these issues following gastric bypass surgery, it is critical to contact your doctor right away to determine the underlying cause. If you are not satisfied with the care you are receiving from your physician, insist on a second opinion.
Recovering Damages Following Gastric Bypass Surgery
In order to recover damages from a physician for medical malpractice, you must satisfy several factors. First, there must be a doctor-patient relationship. If the doctor performed the gastric bypass surgery, then you’ve met the first factor.
You must also be able to prove that your physician was negligent in diagnosing or treating you. This means that the doctor did not provide care to you in a reasonably skillful and careful manner. You will require a medical expert to determine what the appropriate standard of care is for the gastric bypass surgery and whether your physician deviated from the appropriate medical standard of care.
Next, you must show that the doctor’s negligence caused the injury. To satisfy this step, your medical expert will need to be able to show that it was more likely than not, that the physician’s negligence directly caused the injury.
Finally, you will need to show that the injury led to specific damages. This means that there must be some form of physical pain, mental anguish, death, additional medical bills, loss of wages or loss of earning capacity.
Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. Today
If you or a loved one has suffered from complications after receiving a gastric bypass, you need the trusted counsel of an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney. Together, our team of litigators and medical experts can walk you through the process, determine the value of your case, and fight to protect your rights. Contact us today at 1-888-575-6410 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you!