Is lap band surgery safe? Can you sue after a complication or surgical mistake?
Patients who are overweight or obese may consider surgical alternatives to traditional weight loss methods. Lap band surgery is one such surgical alternative. While LapBand is a specific brand name, the procedure of stomach banding, or installing a band to section off the stomach, is performed by numerous plastic surgeons and as a popular cosmetic procedure.
How does a lap band work?
The Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine explains the process behind Lap Band surgery. A Lap Band procedure involves using a band, or a piece of material, to divide the stomach into parts. The smaller part of the stomach will be the part of the stomach that is actually used to hold food. All food you eat will go into this smaller sectioned off portion of the stomach, and this smaller portion will feed right to your digestive track. Thus, the bulk of your stomach will not be used. Using a band to portion off a segment of your stomach can cause you to feel full much faster, resulting in significant weight loss.
Many people consider a Lap Band procedure to be a safer alternative to gastric bypass. It is a less invasive surgical procedure and can be reversed if necessary. However, the it is still a surgical procedure and there are some significant risks associated with lap band surgery.
Possible problems with lap band surgery.
For example, if the surgery is not done properly, the band used to section off the portions of your stomach can slip out of place. When this occurs, the band can create a barrier in the stomach that makes it difficult to digest both solids and liquids. This can be potentially fatal if not corrected immediately by another surgery.
The band is a foreign substance within your body, which can create some significant problems. For example, your body may reject the lap band. If this occurs, the natural immune response is for the body to try to eliminate the lap band. Significant problems can occur, such as ulcers, erosion of the stomach wall, infection or other medical issues.
Numerous other potential side effects exist, including deflation of the stomach pouch, a leak in the port from the sectioned off stomach to the digestive track, dilation of the esophagus, or seronoma. Some of these side effects are merely annoying, while others can cause serious health conditions that require hospitalization, or reversal of the surgery.
With the many risks associated with Lap Band surgery, it would stand to reason that most people would not undergo the procedure unless they expected significant results. Unfortunately, however, a National Institute of Health study reports that lap bands fail to help some patients to lose any weight at all.
Who is at fault?
In some cases, the failure naturally occurs as a result of the inherent complications with the procedure. Your doctor should have adequately informed you of all of these potential risks, side effects and complications before you began the surgery. If your doctor did not provide you with detailed information about potential benefits and risks, it is possible that your consent to the surgery was not truly informed consent. If this is the case, your doctor may be guilty of medical malpractice.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice can also take other forms too. If your surgery was not done properly or if your doctor did not behave with reasonable care in inserting your lap band, your doctor may be responsible for some of the additional complications you incurred.
If you feel your doctor did not provide you with the proper information or that your doctor may have performed lap band surgery improperly, you should consult a Dallas cosmetic surgery malpractice lawyer to determine if you have a potential case for medical malpractice related to your failed LapBand procedure. Contact us today for a free consultation at 1-877-405-4313.