An annual report called “The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America” found that in 2015, more than 30 percent of adults, nearly 17 percent of 2 to 19 year olds, and more than 8 percent of children ages 2 to 5 are obese.
The report determined that rates of obesity now exceed 35 percent in three states, are at or above 30 percent in 22 states and are not below 21 percent in any – and 7 of the 10 states with the highest rates are in the South. Defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, obesity puts approximately 78 million Americans at an increased risk for a range of health problems, including stroke, heart disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, diabetes and certain types of cancer. With over 75 percent of health care money designated to the treatment of diseases, much of which is due to obesity related conditions, there is little surprise that weight loss surgery is on the rise.
The most popular weight loss operation today is gastric bypass surgery. In this procedure, the stomach is divided into a large portion and a much smaller one that is formed into a pouch capable of holding only a cup or so of food. Using a surgical technique known as a “Roux-en-Y,” the new pouch is then directly connected to a part of the small intestine and fewer calories are absorbed. There are several different gastric bypass (GBP) procedures that differ only in the manner in which the small intestine is reattached. All gastric bypass surgeries result in a huge reduction in the functional volume of the stomach as well as an altered physiological and physical response to food. Complications include infections, ulcers, blood clots, hemorrhages, hernias, bowel obstructions, heart attacks and intestinal leaks.
gastric bypass patients do not receive proper care, which can result in serious injury or death.
While poor results are not automatically medical malpractice, if a bad outcome is due to a medical professional’s unreasonable act, it may be possible to prove that he or she was negligent. For example, one of the most common complications in gastric bypass surgery is the leaking of digestive fluid from the new connection. While the occurrence of a leak is not automatically medical negligence, the failure to recognize the signs and symptoms of a leak may be negligence. Physicians must also be able to diagnose and treat intestinal twisting, which is more common in gastric bypass patients than the general population and can cut off the blood supply to the intestines, causing gangrene and death to the intestines.
Other medical malpractice causes include anesthesiology errors, foreign objects left in the patient, failure to inform the patient of the potential risks and physician inexperience. In fact, the popularity of gastric bypass procedures has led many unskilled doctors to perform the operations. According to one study, the odds of death within 30 days of the procedure were 4.7 times higher within a surgeon’s first 19 procedures. Another common cause is surgery on an inappropriate candidate. Patients for gastric bypass need to be at least 100 pounds overweight or have a BMI of 40. In cases in which weight problems are contributing to other severe medical conditions, the BMI may be lowered to 35. Doctors who fail to properly evaluate their patients for the procedure are just as much at fault for complications that arise as those who make critical errors during the procedure.
If you or someone in your family has undergone gastric bypass surgery and has suffered severe and unexpected medical consequences, the Macon gastric bypass negligence lawyers of the Mann Law Firm can help. We know the medical malpractice laws in Georgia, and we have experience in investigating and evaluating gastric bypass surgery malpractice cases. Take the time to discuss your case with us by calling (478) 742-3381 or by filling out our online form. We will listen to your concerns, carefully analyze any possible legal claims and advise you of your rights. We help our clients pursue compensation for past and future medical expenses, loss of potential income, disability, emotional trauma, and more. Schedule a free and confidential consultation with us today to find out what we can do for you.
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