Bariatric surgery is a life-altering procedure. Patients who undergo this procedure generally do so under the pretense that they are improving their health. However, in some instances, they end up in worse health than they did before due to mistakes by their healthcare provider.
The abdomen is a very tight space, and it's also home to several important systems, including the bowels and stomach. Given this dynamic, bowel perforation is a risk during this type of surgical procedure. With this concern, a tiny part of the bowel is scratched or nicked.
As a result, the fluid that is generally contained in the bowel system leaks. Given the bacteria contained in the fluid, a person with this type of injury is at risk for a serious infection. Surgeons must exercise a great deal of diligence to avoid this mishap, and if the bowel is perforated, the surgeon must close the area and notify the patient immediately after recovery.
Bariatric surgery is a highly-effective weight loss option because it naturally limits how much food an individual can comfortably consume. Typically, after a successful procedure, the patient's stomach is only a fraction of what it was beforehand. Consequently, the person is not able to eat as much as they did beforehand.
Whenever there is a reduction in the amount of food a person consumes, the risk of developing a nutritional deficiency always comes to the table. A deficiency might seem minor, but a lack of nutrients can affect your brain and bone health. To keep the patient safe, physicians are expected to discuss these risks with the patient and help them develop a healthy diet.
Given the complexity of this procedure, it's important to note that it does come along with some inherent risks. Unfortunately, even when practicing great medicine, some of these factors are beyond the control of the physician or surgeon. However, where medical malpractice takes the stage is when the provider doesn't address the matter by providing proper treatment.
Take a nutritional deficiency, for instance. No, the physician is not responsible for what food the patient intakes. However, the provider is responsible for prescribing the appropriate supplements when the condition is detected. A failure to follow this step is malpractice on the part of the physician.
If you or a loved one had a bariatric procedure performed and have experienced serious side effects, it's a good idea to speak with an attorney. An attorney will look at your case to determine if you are a victim of medical malpractice so that you can move forward and get the justice you deserve. Reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer for more information.