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Weight Loss Surgery Mistakes: Holding Bariatric Surgeons Accountable

By Norman Younker on November 15, 2015


A patient ill in bed at the hospitalThe legal team at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC has helped countless patients in and around Salt Lake City fight against negligent medical professionals. Our team is committed to our clients, and we have ample experience in medical malpractice and doctor negligence lawsuits.

As more and more people are undergoing bariatric surgery to lose weight, we are hearing more instances of surgical error during these procedures. Let's go over the various risks and complications associated with bariatric surgery.

About Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery refers to various kinds of weight loss surgery procedures that help people lose weight and reduce body mass in a much faster way than dieting or exercising can. These surgeries work by reducing the size of the stomach and/or limiting the amount of calories that can be absorbed during a meal.

There are three common kinds of bariatric surgery:

  • The Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y): During this type of surgery, a small stomach pouch is created and part of the small intestine is attached to this pouch. This is one of the more complicated of the three popular bariatric surgery options.

  • The Gastric Band: During this type of surgery, a silicone band is used to reduce the size of the stomach and hence the amount of food a person can consume.

  • The Gastric Sleeve (Sleeve Gastrectomy): During this surgery, the size of the stomach is reduced permanently through surgery to limit the amount of food a person can consume.

Is Bariatric Surgery Safe?

In general, bariatric surgery is safe, but all surgeries carry some degree of risk. The more complicated the surgery, the greater the risk that is posed.

Given the nature of the surgeries, for instance, only the gastric band technique is fully reversible. Both gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery are very difficult to reverse simply given the changes made to the stomach and digestive tract.

Potential Complications of Bariatric Surgery

Some of the potential complications of bariatric surgery include:

  • Post-surgical infection
  • Blood clots
  • Hemorrhages
  • Stomach perforations
  • Gastrointestinal leak
  • Obstructed bowel

Some of these complications can be very severe, particularly the stomach perforation or gastrointestinal leak. In these cases, the harmful gastric fluid in your body winds up in contact with adjacent organs, causing serious and potentially life-threatening injury.

Revision or Corrective Surgery May Be Required

In order to address surgical complications, a secondary surgery may be required. These corrective procedures can be quite expensive and involved, and they carry with them their own potential risks and side effects.

Establishing Negligence by the Surgeon and Surgical Errors

It is possible for the complications to be caused by a negligent surgeon. If the bariatric surgeon did not properly check for potential leaks in the gastrointestinal tract, or if the surgeon simply failed to perform the procedure correctly, he or she may be liable for any injuries and subsequent medical attention that the patient experienced.

Examining the nature of your case, a medical malpractice attorney will be able to help you fight for damages. These damages will cover the additional medical expenses incurred as well as any pain and suffering experienced.

Contact Our Team of Medical Malpractice Lawyers

For more information about your legal options following a surgeon's mistakes, it's important that you contact our medical malpractice attorneys today. The legal team at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC will work with you to hold the negligent medical professional accountable.

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