Gastric bypass surgery—sometimes referred to under the more general term of bariatric surgery—has proven to be an effective way to achieve weight loss for countless patients suffering from obesity and its associated health problems.
Although gastric bypass procedures have become quite common, there are still many serious risks associated with undergoing this type of surgery. Botched gastric bypass surgery can lead to serious (sometimes lifelong) complications ranging from chronic malnutrition to systemic infections and even death.
Gastric bypass surgery is a delicate and complex procedure that requires special training and experience for both doctors and supporting medical staff. In fact, studies show that the risk of patients suffering complications after surgery increases significantly when the procedure is done by doctors or hospitals that have performed less than 100 such operations.
Possible Complications Of Botched Gastric Bypass Surgery
Because gastric bypass surgery changes the way the body digests food and absorbs nutrients, there are many possible complications that can develop after having the surgery. The slightest mistake made by a surgeon can have serious consequences for the patient.
A gastric bypass procedure drastically reduces the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food that you eat. In some cases, this can result in malnutrition. It is not uncommon for gastric bypass patients to need nutritional supplements to help them maintain healthy levels of vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, vitamin B1, and vitamin B12.
Part of a gastric bypass procedure involves severing the location where the stomach connects to the small intestine and reconnecting them in a different place, effectively bypassing a portion of the intestine. Stomal stenosis is when the opening of this new connection tightens and narrows. It most often causes vomiting after eating or drinking. It is important that this condition is treated as soon as possible.
Peritonitis is an inflammation of the smooth membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. It is caused by leakage from the stomach. It is a serious complication that requires immediate medical attention. The patient may experience any of the following symptoms:
- Increasing abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Pelvic pressure
- Unexplained tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
Dumping syndrome is when solid foods are “dumped” straight from the stomach to the small intestine without proper digestion occurring in the stomach. There are two types of dumping:
Early dumping normally occurs 15 to 20 minutes after eating and presents symptoms such as:
- Bloating and abdominal cramps
- Heart palpitations
- Rapid heartbeat and sweating
- Dizziness or fainting
Late dumping occurs from one to three hours after eating and presents symptoms such as:
- Heart palpitations and sweating
- Tremors and fainting
Infections And Sepsis
Any kind of leakage from the stomach or intestine into the abdominal cavity can also cause serious infections. In some of the worst cases, patients can develop sepsis, a systemic reaction to infection that can cause organ damage and death. Any sign of infection should be reported to a doctor immediately.
Long Term Risks Of Gastric Bypass Surgery
In addition to the serious complications that we’ve listed above, gastric bypass patients also have a higher risk of developing certain medical conditions after having the surgery. Patients may develop one or more of the following:
- Bowel obstruction
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Acid reflux
- The need for a second, or revision, surgery, or procedure
Did You Get A Botched Gastric Bypass Surgery In Boston?
Gastric bypass surgery presents significant risks. If a surgeon makes a mistake during the procedure or fails to correctly diagnose any complications after the procedure, those risks are amplified dramatically. The resulting consequences can affect you for the rest of your life. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with the aftermath on your own.
Speak To A Boston Botched Gastric Bypass Surgery Lawyer
If you or a loved one have undergone botched gastric bypass surgery, the Law Offices of Parker Scheer can help. Our team has the skill and knowledge to make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
If you have been injured because of the negligence of a doctor or other healthcare professional, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your pain and suffering, additional medical treatment, time lost from work, permanent disability, future medical expenses, and more. The experienced Boston medical malpractice lawyers at Parker Scheer will be able to fully investigate and evaluate your case and help you file a claim.
Eric J. Parker, the Managing Partner of Parker Scheer LLP, has over 30 years’ experience representing victims in complex personal injury cases. He is active in many legal associations and has won many awards for performance and principles. Eric believes in giving back to the community and supports young scholars and law students by acting as faculty and mentor to them.