An estimated 440,000 people in the United States are killed every year by hospital, physician, or nurse errors. Medical errors rank third among the most common causes of death in the country. According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 50% of all the medical malpractice cases that are pursued by patients are against their surgeons.
In one study published in the Archives of Surgery, it is estimated that there are about 40 serious surgical errors per week in US hospitals. According to national malpractice statistics, legal action is pursued by a surprisingly small number of victims of medical malpractice. It is estimated that currently, a case is pursued by only 2% of victims.
Although gastric bypass surgery, or bariatric surgery, is an elective procedure, a medical provider who has performed the procedure can be held liable for malpractice in the case of a major surgical error. Elective gastric bypass surgery is increasing rapidly, with more than 150,000 procedures per year in the United States alone. Medical malpractice cases associated with these kind of procedures are also on the rise. While it is an elective procedure designed to facilitate weight loss, there is still a certain standard of care that bariatric surgery comes that surgeons must adhere to.
Patients who undergo gastric bypass normally expect drastic and immediate weight loss. They are, after all, going to extreme lengths to assist slimming down. When the results of the procedure do not satisfy a patient, the blame for the poor result often goes to the surgeon. In reality, this type of surgery can be unsuccessful even without any form of malpractice.
Common Types of Gastric Bypass Malpractice
Gastric bypass malpractice usually results in several common scenarios. If you have preexisting health conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, or other problems, and your doctor recommends you as a candidate for a gastric bypass in spite of these risks, they may be guilty of malpractice. This type of surgery is not for everyone, and your doctor has a legal obligation to investigate your candidacy's viability for the procedure.
One of the common signs that the procedure was performed incorrectly is leakage. During gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is cut in order to create a smaller pouch where food is deposited. If proper reconstruction of your stomach is not performed during the gastric bypass surgery, food and digestive fluids can leak into your abdomen and cause numerous problems, including serious and potentially fatal infections. It is your surgeon's duty to make sure that the gastric bypass surgery is performed in a non-negligent manner, meaning that there should be no leakage present.
While leakage may not always be malpractice, failing to diagnose or treat leakage could be. It is your doctor's duty to identify the occurrence of leakage, even if you somehow caused the leakage yourself, and ensure that the proper course of treatment is undertaken. If you report symptoms of abdominal pain, fever or other potential leakage indicators to your surgeon and he fails to take action to determine if there is leakage or not; you can file for a malpractice claim on grounds of "a failure to diagnose".
The development of post-surgery, pulmonary embolisms, gallstones, kidney stones, excessive pain, difficulty breathing and blood clotting problems are other complications that could be indicative of malpractice. Again, while these conditions are not exclusively indicative of malpractice, any and all of them could be caused by negligence.
Do you want to win your case?
If you or a loved one has had gastric bypass surgery and believe that you may have been the victim of malpractice, you should contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff, & Wolff to discuss the details of your case to find out if you have a viable gastric bypass malpractice case free of charge. The first meeting is free. Give us a call at: 212-344-1000.
You pay us nothing up front. We only take a percentage of the final settlement or verdict. We know how to win cases!
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