Gastric bypass can be a life-changing procedure that provides a patient struggling with obesity or other medical illness with a new outlook on life, especially regarding weight and diet. Medical advancements have allowed the procedure to become safe for those struggling with weight. Nonetheless, patients are still at risk of having a straightforward operation harm their overall health. Therefore, patients who have been harmed after undergoing gastric bypass surgery may be entitled to compensation.
According to the National Library of Medicine, gastric bypass is a surgical procedure that changes the layout of the stomach and small intestine to help patients better control food intake. Essentially, the procedure is designed to shrink a person’s stomach, restricting food access to certain portions of the stomach and small intestine, thereby prohibiting the full absorption of most food. This limits the number of calories a person will absorb during the digestive process.
To perform gastric bypass, a patient will be administered anesthesia to render them unconscious during the procedure. Next, a surgeon will staple portions of a person’s stomach, only allowing a particular portion of food to be consumed at one time. Then the surgeon creates a bypass between the stomach and small intestine, allowing food to travel from the pouch created by the staples to the small intestine. This allows food to travel more quickly through the digestive system preventing prolonged calorie absorption.
There are two ways gastric bypass can be performed:
Laparoscopy is generally the preferred method because it requires a shorter hospital stay, inflicts less pain, creates more minor scars, and poses less risk of infection.
Gastric bypass is a primary way for a person struggling with weight and diet issues to assist in weight loss. Typically, a surgeon will refuse to conduct the surgery until the patient has attempted to make efforts to improve their diet and exercise. The procedure also helps with a number of health-related afflictions, including:
Yes, not everyone struggling with medical issues related to their diet, or having difficulty exercising, may be eligible for the procedure. Generally, surgeons will only conduct the procedure when a person has a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher—highly obese. Alternatively, a patient may qualify with a lower BMI (between 30-39.9) if they experience a weight-related illness.
Surgeons will also determine eligibility by whether a person will commit to living a healthier lifestyle. Because the procedure is incredibly invasive, healthcare providers will want to ensure that a patient is willing to commit to healthier lifestyle changes that allow the procedure to be effective.
Although many healthcare providers will try to ensure little to no complications occur due to the surgery, this is not always the case. Short-term complications include:
Long-term issues related to a gastric bypass procedure may include:
Healthcare providers will generally give patients pre- and post-surgical procedure instructions to prepare themselves for surgery and create a treatment after it is complete.
Healthcare providers will likely require patients preparing for surgery to change certain lifestyle habits in the days and weeks leading up to the surgery. This may include engaging in a rigorous diet and exercise plan and limiting or prohibiting the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other narcotics. In the days and hours before the surgery, the surgeon may require a patient to refrain from eating or drinking altogether.
During the recovery phase after the procedure has occurred, the patient will likely be required to consume any food or liquids, allowing the body to heal. Then the patient will transition from an all-liquid to puree diet and eventually be allowed to eat solid food. Doctors may also prescribe multi-vitamin supplements.
Patients should also expect return visits to the doctor for periodic check-ups, including vitals checks and bloodwork. Patients may experience the following within the first three to six months of surgery:
Except for gross misconduct on healthcare providers, gastric bypass does not always work for some patients. Generally, patients that fail to lose weight or lose weight but then gain back are likely to engage in unhealthy lifestyles. This may include failing to stick to a strict diet and exercise regimen by failing to exercise and eating foods with high-calorie percentages.
Like in most states, Oklahoma doctors take the Hippocratic oath to “do no harm.” This means that doctors cannot treat a patient knowing that treatment will cause harm to the patient. However, doctors may also be liable for negligence related to patient treatment.
Negligence occurs when a doctor must act but fails because of incompetence, lack of knowledge, miscommunication, or misconduct. To establish negligence, a patient must show:
In almost all negligence cases, establishing a doctor’s duty is relatively simple because of the stringed education requirements and standards of care doctors need to practice medicine. The difficulty is proving the doctor’s actions were the cause of the injury that led to the patient’s financial harm.
Gastric bypass does not usually result in severe, life-changing complications caused by surgeon error because the procedure is relatively standard. However, doctors make mistakes causing patients to experience harmful effects that may be permeant. Below are common mistakes made by doctors when performing gastric bypass surgery.
In some instances, fluid can leak internally from the stomach, small intestines, or sutures that are used close open wounds. Although small amounts of discharge may be expected, massive leaking is not. Patients who experience fluid leakage should contact their doctor immediately for assistance. Fluid leakage could indicate that the surgeon failed to properly connect vital organs or address wounds, resulting in harm to the patient.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a good candidate for this type of surgery. For example, a patient may be ineligible for surgery if they have a pre-existing condition or have a family history of a specific illness like heart or lung disease. Furthermore, some patients may show signs of failure to comply with strict diet and exercise regimens, which will result in weight gain.
Common malpractice claims include doctors failing to inform patients of medical complications and risks associated with gastric bypass surgery. Just because a patient experiences a complication does not necessarily mean they have an actionable claim for damage against their surgeon. Instead, the patient must show that the surgeon or healthcare provider failed to inform the patient of the risks associated with the surgery.
Many malpractice claims arise from a doctor’s failure to provide adequate instructions for post-surgical recovery or address issues raised by a patient. Invasive surgical procedures can cause numerous risks and complications, which patients will be informed of ahead of time. However, doctors get sued by patients for failing to treat complications arising out of surgeries.
In some uncommon instances, a doctor or healthcare facility may fail to uphold specific standards of care regarding procedures needed to conduct a surgery, proper training for surgical staff, or strict sanitation requirements, which may all be forms of negligence.
If you or a loved one has recently undergone gastric bypass surgery and have experienced a complication that you believe is caused by a surgical error. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced Graves McClain Oklahoma Gastric Bypass attorney can help a patient investigate injuries caused by the procedure, craft a legal strategy, pursue settlement discussions, and negotiate payment of medical claims with adverse parties, including insurance companies. Contact our office today by visiting our website or calling us at 919-359-6600.
My orthopedic doctor recommended Graves McLain, PLLC, to me following the need for revision hip surgery due to a hip from Stryker that was putting poison into my system. The doctor took care of the hip, and Graves McLain, PLLC, took care of the legal case. They were very thorough, professional, courteous, and always ready to answer the questions I had throughout the length of the case. In a word, the entire office is fantastic. I’m sure they were tired of my inquiries on the case’s progress, but they did not show it. They were always willing to respond and were very positive. If I ever have a claim in the future, they will be the first group to whom I reach out.
I have been working with chad McLain for two years. He has helped me get my case resolved in a professional, compassionate, and very smooth way. I wasn’t just a number in this lawsuit which included many others. This firm has made me feel like I was the only one. Amy Cox has also been amazing. She was always so very kind each time I contacted her with questions. Her character shines through, and I’m so thankful she was there for me. I would definitely suggest that anyone who might need a lawyer for a medical lawsuit to choose Graves McLain law firm.
I was referred to Graves McLain through an Uber passenger. I reached out and was connected with Miss Angela, who made me feel so comfortable. She was very upfront with everything and kept a very open line of communication. I got to work with Amy W. & Amy M., who were two fabulous ladies who helped wrap up my case. When I thought I would be screwed with trying to get somewhere with the insurance company, these ladies came to the rescue. Without a doubt, I would contact them again, and I will recommend them to others. Thanks again!
Graves McLain was there for us when we didn’t really know how to move forward with our Round Up claim. They worked very hard for us and kept us informed. Couldn’t of done this without them. Thank you Graves Mclain
I had 10/10 experience with Rachel and the team from Grave’s McLain. I had been feeling overwhelmed with medical bills from a car accident that wasn’t my fault, and the long list of things that had to be done that I had to figure out how to do myself. They put my mind at ease and handled everything perfectly. I’ll definitely use them again if the time comes!
Graves McLain Law Firm recently handled a difficult legal situation for our family. From the beginning, we were treated with respect and concern. The entire staff is top-knotch in the realm of customer care. Mr. McLain’s knowledge, experience, and counselling was reassuring as our case progressed to the best conclusion achievable. Anyone needing assistance with serious issue should contact Graves McLain….”Serious DOES matter to them!”
I am extremely pleased with how my case was handled at Graves McLain. I hired Chad after fighting with the insurance company for over a year. Feeling defeated and overwhelmed with medical bills, once my case was handled by my attorney, I felt at ease. Chad and his team were very responsive and kind. They answered all my questions and even helped me figure out lost wages based on a commission rate of pay. He was able to get maximum compensation and now I can get back to my life! I would 100% recommend Graves McLain time and time again.
My case just settled and I want to thank Rachel Gussman, Janet, Sonia, Emily, Amy, and Margo. This process was definitely a team effort. When I was involved in a car accident last year, I turned to my friend Rachel for guidance. I was thoroughly impressed with their skills, office staff professionalism and friendliness, communication, and of course, the end results. I highly recommend Graves McLain.
My experience with Graves McLain was first and foremost a top notch experience from beginning to end. Their expertise and professionalism was impressive and thorough. I was completely satisfied with their efforts. In two years I had not one but two accidents . They handled both so that I didn’t become a victim again by the insurance company. I’m satisfied and happy with their handling of both suits. I would highly recommend them if you find yourself a victim of an accident.
Thank You Graves McLain!
Graves McLain was so helpful, they communicated with me and gave me frequent updates. I highly recommend them.