Weight loss surgery is a very popular option for people who have been struggling with obesity for years. It has the potential to be life-changing, not just in terms of physical health but also in terms of mental health and self-esteem. Unfortunately, it also comes with some risk factors that are not always fully disclosed to patients before they undergo the procedure.
If you’re struggling with weight loss surgery complications, contact the Florida medical malpractice lawyers at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. We have decades of experience and have recovered billions of dollars for our clients.
Schedule your free consultation today. We would be happy to discuss your case with you and see if we can help.
Types of Bariatric Surgery Procedures
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery is perhaps the most well-known type of weight loss surgery.
It is a procedure that involves creating a small pouch in the stomach, restricting the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. It also bypasses a large portion of the stomach and the small intestine, reducing the number of calories that are absorbed by the body.
Sleeve gastrectomy surgery is a procedure that involves removing most of the stomach so that the patient can only eat small amounts of food at once. This surgery also reduces the number of calories that are absorbed by the body.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB, or “Lap Band Surgery”)
Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery is a type of weight loss surgery that involves the placement of an adjustable band around the stomach. This band helps to restrict the amount of food that can be eaten at one time.
It is a less invasive procedure than some of the other types of weight loss surgery.
Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (“Stomach Stapling”)
Vertical banded gastroplasty surgery is a type of weight loss surgery that is less common than some of the other procedures. It involves stapling the stomach so that it can only hold a small amount of food. This surgery is often performed using a laparoscope.
Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (“BPD/DS”)
BPD/DS surgery is a type of weight loss surgery that is considered to be the most drastic. It is a procedure that involves removing most of the stomach and the small intestine so that the patient can only absorb a very small amount of food.
Complications of Bariatric Surgeries
Dumping syndrome is a complication that can occur after gastric bypass surgery. It is a condition that is caused by the rapid passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine.
This can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In some cases, dumping syndrome can be quite severe and can even lead to death.
Gallstones are a common complication of gastric bypass and gastric sleeve weight loss surgeries. Small stones that form in the gallbladder can cause pain, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, gallstones can require surgery to remove them.
Hernias are a common complication of many types of surgery, and bariatric surgery is no exception. They are caused by the protrusion of tissue or organs through a weak area in the muscle or fascia. Hernias can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort.
In some cases, they may require surgery to repair them.
Internal bleeding is a rare but serious complication of bariatric surgery.
It can occur after any type of weight loss surgery, but it is most common after gastric bypass surgery. Internal bleeding can cause symptoms like dizziness, weakness, and shortness of breath.
In some cases, it can be life-threatening.
Leakage of the stomach pouch is a rare complication that can occur after gastric bypass surgery.
It is caused when the stitches or staples that hold the stomach pouch closed break open. This can cause leakage of stomach contents into the abdomen, which can cause infection and even death.
Vitamin or Iron Deficiency
Vitamin and iron deficiencies can occur any time you have your stomach reduced in size, which is what happens with all types of bariatric surgery. You may not be able to absorb enough of these nutrients from your food, and you may need to take supplements to make up for the deficiency.
Vitamin and iron deficiencies can cause symptoms like fatigue, weakness, and hair loss.
Perforation of Stomach or Intestines
Perforation of the stomach or intestines is a very serious complication that can occur after any type of weight loss surgery.
It is caused when an opening forms in the stomach or intestines, and stomach contents leak into the abdomen.
Bowel obstruction is caused by the blockage of the small intestine, and it can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and constipation.
In some cases, bowel obstruction may require surgery to remove the obstruction.
Protein or Calorie Malnutrition
Protein or calorie malnutrition is a common complication of bariatric surgery. It is caused by the lack of protein or calories in the diet, and it can cause symptoms like fatigue, weakness, and weight loss.
Cardiac (heart) problems can occur after any type of weight loss surgery, but they are most common after gastric bypass surgery.
They can cause symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, and irregular heartbeat.
Spleen or Other Organ Injury
Spleen or other organ injury is a rare but serious complication of bariatric surgery. It can occur after any type of weight loss surgery, but it is most common after gastric bypass surgery.
It can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Blood clots are a risk with most types of surgery. When you undergo an operation, one of your body’s natural responses is to coagulate, or thicken, the blood to promote wound healing. This can lead to the formation of clots.
Blood clots can cause symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, and swelling in the legs.
When Weight Loss Surgery Complications Are Considered Malpractice
When a surgery complication leads to injury or death, it may be considered malpractice. If a physician makes a mistake that ends up hurting the patient, they could also be subject to a malpractice suit. It’s not grounds enough to simply be dissatisfied with the outcome of your surgery; a doctor or other medical professional must have been negligent and caused injury, death, or the need for surgical revision.
Some of the most common mistakes that can lead to a malpractice claim include:
1) Failure to properly monitor the patient after surgery for potential complications such as a bowel leak.
2) Failure to consider and rule out potential causes of an abnormal heart rate, low blood pressure, or pain after surgery.
3) Not adequately preparing the patient for the possibility of nutritional deficiencies after surgery.
4) Failing to properly monitor and manage a patient’s weight loss to avoid serious health complications.
If you have suffered complications after weight loss surgery, it is important to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to determine if you have a claim. Call Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at (561) 655-1990.
Have complications from weight loss surgery? Call Us for a Free Consultation
If you have experienced any type of complication from weight loss surgery, we can help. We offer free consultations to those who have been injured as a result of a surgical mistake.
Call us today at (561) 655-1990 for more information.