Bariatric surgery is an invasive procedure, one in which a surgeon reroutes, staples or adds a band to the stomach and small intestines. Yet, as obesity rates continue to rise, the procedure has not only experienced greater demand, but higher reported instances of medical malpractice as well.

blog-lapbandWhy is this occurring?

Less-Experienced Surgeons

Research indicates that, in order to keep up with demand, surgeons who have only performed 70 to 100 bariatric surgeries are now completing the operation. In certain extreme situations, hospitals looking to capitalize on the popularity of the surgery have allowed surgeons to perform the procedure after attending a brief weekend seminar, where they work on a handful of patients.

When the procedure doesn’t go as planned, the patient later experiences bleeding, leakage of gastric fluid or, in more fatal cases, pulmonary embolism, in which a clot travels through the body until it reaches the heart.

Candidates Aren’t Thoroughly Screened

A patient needs to meet specific criteria to be eligible for bariatric surgery. He or she needs to be at least 100 pounds overweight and have attempted other weight loss procedures. Essentially, this surgery is supposed to be a last-resort effort when nothing else is successful.

Yet, because the patients often seek out the surgeons, doctors and hospitals cannot always determine if a patient meets all criteria. Thus, an individual who shouldn’t be having bariatric surgery goes under the knife and later experiences complications.

Negligence in Advertising

Hospitals promise a simple procedure that will lead to significant weight loss, without disclosing any of the complications. As a result, patients believe that they’re getting a miracle cure. The advertisements do not offer patients any understanding of the risks or insight into how their post-surgery life will be different.

However, for any medical malpractice lawsuit, a patient can’t file for not receiving the desired outcome. Rather, the plaintiff needs to prove that the doctor didn’t follow the accepted standard of care, which led to a poor result that directly harmed the patient.

Did you go through a bariatric procedure, only to later experience complications? Trantolo & Trantolo cares deeply about people who have been hurt by medical malpractice, and has helped recover millions of dollars for victims. Call us if you or a loved one have been hurt.