Gastric bypass surgery is a surgery that is performed frequently throughout the United States. Its purpose is to reduce the amount of food that can be absorbed by the body. As a result, the patient should lose weight.
There are several types of gastric bypass surgery. The most common is called the Roux-en Y gastric bypass. There are two major procedures performed during the Roux-en Y surgery. First, staples are placed across the stomach causing a reduction in the size of the stomach. This reduces the amount of food that can be placed in the stomach and thereby reduces the amount of food that can be absorbed by the body. Next, a part of the small intestine called the jejunum is completely divided (cut in half) and the distal portion is brought up to and attached to the new stomach. This is called a gastrojejunostomy. The proximal portion of the small intestine is then attached (this attachment is called an anastomosis) to the distal part of the "limb" that was brought up to the "new" stomach. This is called a a jejuno-jejunostomy. This also reduces the amount of food that can be absorbed by the body. These divisions and connections appear in the form of the letter "Y", and thereby give the surgery its name. Watch a video of lapararoscopic gastric bypass surgery.
Roux-en Y gastric bypass surgery, as discussed above, results in several significant surgical divisions and connections (anastomoses). As a result, it is necessary for there to be close monitoring of a patient who has undergone this surgery.
There is a risk that any of these new connections can leak. For example, the staples in the stomach can fail to hold or leak; the connection of the small intestine to the "new" stomach can fail to hold or leak; and the jejuno-jejunostomy can fail to hold or leak. Any leakage is potentially dangerous and often requires emergency surgery to repair the connection. If the leakage is not recognized, the patient can suffer serious injuries or death.
There is also a risk of bowel obstruction. This can result from any scarring or adhesions or strictures forming in the intestine as a result of the surgery and healing. Again, if this is not recognized, the patient can suffer serious injuries or death.
There is also a risk of nutritional deficiencies resulting from gastric bypass surgery. These can result in serious injuries or death, if left untreated.
Gastric bypass surgery is frequently performed laparoscopically. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery has more risk of surgical error than the conventional open gastric bypass surgery because the surgeon is performing the surgery with visualization with a laparoscope.
If you want more information about gastric bypass surgery, call the gastric bypass malpractice lawyers at Berger & Lagnese. Our medical malpractice team will investigate your case for free, find and interview witnesses, obtain top experts, and get you the justice you deserve. Working in Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Beaver, Washington, Uniontown, and throughout Western Pennsylvania, our lawyers will fight for you.
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