Medical Negligence Compensation
Over 10,000 bariatric surgeries involving a gastric band are performed annually in the United Kingdom. Not all of these surgeries are successfully executed as the level of doctors’ skills varies, according to his or her experience with gastric band and gastric bypass surgeries. Inadequate aftercare and a failure to explain fully the risks associated with weight loss surgery are common negligence complaints. There is no indication the number of weight loss surgeries will decrease in the coming years due to increased patient demand.
Our medical negligence solicitors are experienced in gastric band, lap band and gastric bypass compensation claims. If, after consideration of the evidence, our medical negligence solicitors believe you have suffered the consequences of an error of judgement, we may be able to offer the no win no fee* scheme. Our compensation claim solicitors operate the no win no fee scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client by the solicitors firm.
There are two commonly used weight loss (medically termed “bariatric”) surgeries:
- Lap (or Gastric) Band Surgery
- Gastric Bypass Surgery
Our gastric band medical negligence solicitors deal with claims using the no win no fee scheme. If you would like free advice with no further obligation just call the helpline or email our offices. We will discuss your potential gastric band medical negligence compensation claim (or your gastric bypass surgery) on the telephone and our medical negligence solicitors will advise you there and then about our views about liability (i.e whether or not we believe that you have a viable medical negligence compensation claim) and the potential value of your claim. Our solicitors initial advice is given without charge and without any further obligation.
Definition of Obesity
As obesity rates increase, so does the demand for weight loss (medically termed “bariatric”) surgery which encompasses lap band surgery, gastric bypass surgery and gastric band surgery. Obesity is at an all time high and is expected to rise higher in the coming years. A body mass index of 30 or higher is considered obese.
The body mass index (BMI) calculates your body fat ratio based on height and weight. Patients with a BMI score of 40 and above are typically considered eligible for bariatric surgery. Some patients may be considered candidates with a BMI index of 35. Regardless of your BMI score, your doctor’s evaluation for eligibility determines whether you qualify for weight loss surgery and your particular circumstances determine whether you will be eligible for lap band surgery, gastric bypass surgery or gastric band surgery .
Approximately one-third of all Britons are obese. Therefore, it is unlikely that the popularity of bariatric surgery will decline. On the assumption of rising demand it is also likely that the number of bariatric surgery medical negligence compensation claims will increase particularly if medical practitioners rush into this lucrative area of practice without adequate training and skills.
Lap (Gastric) Band Surgery
Lap band surgery reduces the amount of food your stomach can hold by implantation of a device known as a “lap band”. This surgery is also commonly referred to as a gastric band surgery. The physician wraps the lap band around the stomach utilising minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. Saline contained in the lap band device enables a physician to make adjustments, either loosening or tightening the device through reducing or increasing the volume of saline content in the gastric band.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
The intent of gastric bypass surgery is to prevent food from entering the first and second segment of the small intestine. This is achieved by creating a stomach pouch and attaching a section of the small stomach to the pouch. The body absorbs fewer calories when a gastric bypass surgery is performed.
Complications of Surgery
As with all surgeries, there are risks associated with lap band and gastric bypass surgery. If surgery is not performed in accordance with standard protocols, there is the possibility that the lap band will slip or saline will leak out. The success of the surgery is greatly dependent on the skill of the surgeon. If there are complications, a second surgery may be necessary to rectify the problem.
Infection is always a serious possibility after any surgery. Incompetent post-operative care increases the risk of infection. Should infection occur and it is not treated immediately, fever, inflammation, compromise of the immune system, unsightly scarring and, in rare cases, death may result.
Patient’s Informed Decision
Doctors are legally required to disclose to the patient all possible risks associated with a surgery. Failure to do so can carry heavy consequences for both the patient and surgeon. The patient must be able to make his or her decision to go ahead with the surgery with full knowledge of all the risks associated with that particular surgery. Doctors who do not inform their patients of all risks, small and large, are negligent as they are preventing the patient from making an informed decision.
Weight loss surgeries bear an increased risk of complications in comparison with other types of surgeries. One in 500 patients die from complications and approximately 40 percent of patients are at risk for complications arising for up to 6 months after the surgery.
Post Operative Care
Gastric band and gastric bypass surgeries are particularly delicate operations that require excellent operation and post-operative skills and care by the medical team. A surgeon is responsible for his or her patient until he or she is discharged from hospital. This means that, even after surgery has been performed, the surgeon is obligated to regularly examine and visit the patient during the recovery period in hospital.
Clinical Negligence Law
It should be noted that a complication arising from gastric band or bypass surgery does not automatically denote medical negligence. Surgery performed by a skilled competent doctor can still result in complications, but that does not necessarily constitute medical negligence.