Gastric bypass and other surgical procedures intended to help individuals achieve weight loss are becoming much more commonplace, especially as laparoscopic techniques allow for minimally invasive procedures. However, even a less-invasive surgery still comes with risks of complications. When complications occur due to negligent errors by surgical teams, a gastric bypass patient may have a medical malpractice claim.
Types of Gastric Bypass Procedures
Gastric bypass or bariatric surgeries may involve different kinds of procedures, such as:
- Gastric sleeve/laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, which is the most commonly performed bariatric procedure
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
- Lap band/adjustable band procedure
- Revision surgery, which is a procedure to modify or change a prior bariatric surgery
Risks of Bypass Procedures
Unfortunately, gastric bypass has higher risks of complications and death compared to other laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgical procedures. Common risks of bariatric surgeries include:
- Internal bleeding
- Sepsis, usually caused by an undetected leak from the digestive tract
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Pulmonary embolism
When Does an Adverse Outcome from a Gastric Bypass Lead to a Malpractice Claim
Not every adverse outcome of gastric bypass surgery or the failure of the surgery to have the desired outcome means that medical malpractice has occurred. A medical malpractice claim only arises when a medical provider renders care to a patient that fails to meet the applicable standard of care in the patient’s case. While the specific standards of care will vary from patient to patient, the standard of care can be broadly defined as the treatment decisions that reasonable medical providers of similar training and experience would undertake in identical circumstances. In other words, if other surgeons and nurses would have rendered the same care and treatment to a patient, there may have been no malpractice even if the patient ended up suffering an adverse outcome.
In most cases, a patient who suffered complications or an adverse outcome from a bariatric surgery will need to consult with another bariatric surgeon (or other medical professionals like anesthesiologists or nurses if their errors led to the complications) to provide an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that explains:
- The applicable standard of care in your bariatric surgery,
- How your surgical team failed to meet the standard of care, and
- How this failure to comply with the standard of care caused your complications or injuries
What Can You Recover If You Have Been the Victim of Malpractice?
If you have a viable claim of medical malpractice after suffering harm from complications of a gastric bypass procedure, you may be entitled to recover compensation for losses that you have incurred due to those complications, including for:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation to recover from complications, including additional surgical procedures, medications, and doctor’s appointments
- Loss of wages or income if you must miss additional time from work to recover from surgical complications
- Loss of future earning ability if you are permanently disabled from returning to your job
- Physical pain and emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life, including due to loss of the ability to partake in activities you previously enjoyed, or due to reduced life expectancy
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Surgical Error Case in Pennsylvania
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Pittsburgh surgical error attorneys at Matzus Law LLC are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Pennsylvania, including Butler, Cranberry Township, Greensburg, and Washington. Call us today at (412) 206-5300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 310 Grant St., Suite 3210, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.