Medical malpractice from negligence can happen in any surgery, but sadly the complication rate for obese patients that have gastric bypass surgeries, or bariatric surgery, is much higher. Gastric bypass medical malpractice can occur both before, during and after gastric bypass surgery. Important medical malpractice facts and potential complications of gastric bypass are based in part on:
- The health risk of operations like Roux-en-Y bypass is relatively small and getting smaller. As medical data improves along with the skill and experience of surgeons, bariatric treatments are becoming safer. In general, while there is a risk of dying during or after stomach bypass, most patients achieve significant improvements in co-morbidities like heart disease, lung function, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, and seem to live longer.
- Important risk factors for health complications (and premature death) following gastric bypass include the physical condition of the patient including weight and specific comorbid conditions, the complexity of the bariatric procedure and the skill and experience of the surgeon.
- Laparoscopic gastric bypass typically leads to less pain and fewer incisional hernias than open surgical bypass. However, laparoscopy-assisted surgery is more demanding and inexperienced bariatric surgeons can expect an initial increase in perioperative and postoperative complications. Studies show that with greater experience of laparoscopy, the health risks decrease and approach those of gastric bypass procedures performed by open surgical techniques.
- At present, the general death rate from bariatric surgery seems to vary between 0.2 and 1 percent.
- A recent study revealed that severely obese patients who chose bypass surgery, reduced their risk of premature death by up to 89 percent, compared to equally overweight patients who did not get surgical treatment.
- In another study of 66,000 obese patients, about 3 percent of gastric-bypass patients (under 40) died in the 13.6 years after the surgery, compared with 14 percent of obese patients who were not treated surgically.
- About 10-20 percent of patients undergoing stomach bypass require follow-up operations to correct complications, the most common complaints being abdominal hernias.
- More than one-third of patients who have gastric bypass surgery develop gallstones.
- Complication rates in the early postoperative period, such as infection, dehiscence, leaks from staple breakdown, stomal stenosis, ulcers, and deep thrombo-phlebitis may be as high as ten percent or more. However, the combined risk of the most serious complications (gastrointestinal leak and deep venous thrombosis) is less than one percent.
- Over the long term, the health complications of gastric bypass may include a variety of conditions and problems. According to one 14-year follow-up study of stomach bypass patients, the morbidity rates were as follows: vitamin B12 deficiency (39.9 percent), incisional hernia, (23.9 percent), depression (23.7 percent), staple line failure (15 percent), gastritis ( 13.2 percent), cholecystitis (11.4 percent), anastomotic problems (9.8 percent), dehydration malnutrition (5.8 percent), dilated pouch (3.2 percent).
- The health risks of revisional surgery are higher.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Talk to one of our Houston injury attorneys about bariatric surgery malpractice, gastric bypass, lap band surgery or other bariatric medical complications. In many cases the complications were preventable. Have your potential bypass surgery malpractice case evaluated and learn your legal rights. Talk to a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer, certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.