What is Bariatric Surgery?

Thousands of people are now electing to pursue surgical options to help them lose weight. Bariatric surgery refers to a number of surgical procedures that permanently change the gastrointestinal tract by making it smaller or shorter so that fewer calories are absorbed and the patient consumes less food resulting in weight loss. Bariatric surgery is much different, and much riskier to the patient, than other surgical methods that remove fat like liposuction or an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).

Complications from Bariatric Surgery

Almost half of all patients who undergo bariatric surgery experience some post-surgical complications. These may include incisional hernias at the surgical site, infections, hemorrhaging (bleeding) and leaks within the abdominal cavity.

Additionally, the FDA has begun to receive reports that some of the medical staples used during bariatric surgery are failing to close all the way or failing to puncture all the way through the tissue causing leaks of stomach fluid into the abdominal cavity which can lead to a number of potentially life-threatening complications that require immediate medical attention. There are reports that the FDA has received more than 9,000 reports of such complications from defective staples and more than 100 reports of deaths associated with defective staples and staplers. Ethicon and U.S. Surgical manufacture almost 100% of the staplers in use today.

Techniques of Bypass Surgery

There are currently three different techniques utilized during gastric bypass surgery. All three types involve dividing the stomach into two pouches so that only one portion receives and digests the food. Once the stomach has been divided, the small intestine is modified to allow both portions of the stomach to drain into the small intestine. There are primarily three different ways of reattaching the small intestine to the stomach. The most common method is the Roux En Y or proximal attachment. In this method, the divided portions of the stomach are reattached to the small intestine at the upper (proximal) end of the small intestine, which allows food to pass through more of the small intestine and a higher percentage of nutrients to be absorbed. This method results in the lowest likelihood of post-surgical nutritional complications.

The injuries and consequences that result from complications of bariatric/gastric bypass surgery can be devastating. If you or a loved one has experienced injuries or complications following a bariatric surgery, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced in medical negligence cases and who has the resources to vigorously pursue justice on your behalf.  If you need an attorney to represent you, we invite you to consider Terrell ● Hogan. For a free consultation, call (904) 722-2228 or 1-888-244-5557 (toll free).