Bariatric Surgery - Medical Malpractice LawyersLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
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Bariatric Surgery - Medical Malpractice
Weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery is done to change your digestive system so that you cannot take in very much food at a time. You then lose weight as a result of the surgery-up to a hundred pounds or more. The surgery is extreme and you really can't eat more than a tablespoon or two of food at a time. The medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, are diminished when you have bariatric surgery and your blood pressure goes down. The most common bariatric surgery is called gastric bypass surgery because it shrinks the size of the stomach and sends the food down a bypassed stomach. Take care of your body. You need to follow carefully the directions of the bariatric surgeons and nurses so that you don't throw away a good opportunity to lose weight.
Gastric bypass surgery has benefits and risks. The benefits are the weight loss and the changes in cardiac risk factors and diabetes. The risks are infection, bleeding complications, hernia and death from surgery that are very real risks.
Surgery with a gastric bypass is best done if a person has a BMI of 40 or more. If you have risk factors for obesity such as diabetes or high blood pressure, the surgeon may also do surgery if your BMI is between 35 and 40.
There are several types of weight loss surgery. Some of these are:
- Biliopancreatic diversion and duodenal switch surgery. This makes a sleeve out of the stomach and leaves a small part of the duodenum remaining. The rest of the rest of the small intestines are completely bypassed. This is a severe surgery with many risks of complications, including vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition and death from surgery. It is reserved for those with a BMI of greater than 50.
- Roux-en-Y bariatric surgery. Most doctors do this type of surgery. There is a small gastric pouch made that is connected to a portion of the ileum. The rest of the duodenum and jejunum are bypassed to limit food absorption. Complications include vitamin and nutrient deficiency, staple removal and bleeding complications.
- The lap band procedure involves using an inflatable band shaped like a doughnut. It is placed around the stomach to create a small stomach pouch. The band can be adjusted to allow more or less food to pass through the stomach opening. It has a lower risk of complications than other gastric procedures but also doesn't involve as much weight loss as other procedures.
- The vertical band procedure. This is a procedure that is also known as stomach stapling. It divides the stomach in half so that it doesn't hold as much food. There is no bypassing done in this procedure. It is rarely done because it doesn't lead to sustained weight loss in many situations.
- A sleeve gastrectomy is a procedure for those who are too large for gastric bypass. The stomach is created into a tube and the first part of the biliopancreatic procedure is done at a later date, when the surgery is safer to do.
There are many complications of gastric bypass surgery and related surgeries, which include bleeding problems, hernia formation and infection. Vitamin or mineral deficiencies can occur, and you can get gallbladder problems, such as gallstones. Kidney stones can form as can food intolerances. You can get low blood sugar or hypoglycemia from not eating enough sugar and being insulin resistant. Death at the time of surgery is possible and is higher than with other surgeries. Deep vein thromboses can occur and pulmonary emboli can cause death due to blood clots in the lungs. There can be leakage along the incision lines and loss of staples. There can also be constriction at the level of the bypass so no food passes through and the procedure must be repeated to prevent recurrent vomiting. Depending on the surgery, there can be dumping of food suddenly into the intestines from the stomach, a syndrome called dumping syndrome.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here