Perhaps you’re one of many people in Texas and elsewhere across the country who have suffered adverse health issues due to obesity. Various factors determine whether a particular person’s weight loss efforts might be successful. In some cases, a patient might opt to have gastric bypass surgery, which is a surgical procedure requiring hospital admittance. If you’re considering having this type of operation, it’s critical for your medical team, especially your surgeon, to inform you of all known risks associated with the procedure.
Gastric bypass surgery is basically a means to insert a “pseudo” stomach in your body, bypassing part of your natural digestive system. The surgeon will “re-route” your small intestine in order to limit the amount of food your “new stomach” can hold. When your body becomes restricted in the number of calories and nutrients it can process, the result is substantial weight loss. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
What can go wrong following gastric bypass surgery?
The branch of medicine that deals with the study and treatment of obesity is known as “bariatrics.” Gastric bypass surgery is said to be one of the most effective procedures available to help extremely obese people to get their weight loss under control. However, your doctor should make you aware of potential dangers associated with this specific type of surgery before undergoing the procedure.
The greatest post-surgical risk involved with gastric bypass surgery is anastomotic leaking. When you have an operation that creates a surgical connection between two structures (in this case, your small intestine with your new stomach pouch), the medical term for it is “anastomosis.” Approximately 1.5% to 6% of patients who have this type of bariatric procedure will develop a leak in the anastomosis region.
Your surgeon and doctor must know how to recognize signs of anastomotic leakage
Undergoing gastric bypass surgery is a major medical procedure. Your medical team must closely monitor you during post-op care to make sure you do not exhibit any symptoms of anastomotic leakage, which typically include the issues shown in the following list:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Vomiting or nausea
- Drop in blood pressure
- Pain or discomfort near your left shoulder
- Lack of urine output
The higher your pre-surgical weight was, the greater risk you may have of developing an anastomotic leak. If your doctor diagnoses this post-op complication, you will likely require surgical repair of the leak.
Failure to diagnose anastomotic leakage has life-threatening results
If your doctor fails to diagnose an anastomotic leak, you’re at risk for serious health conditions, which include ulcers, fistulas and pneumonia, if digestive juices leak through and get into your lungs. Taking swift and appropriate action in response to post-op symptoms of leakage is the key toward successful repair and treatment.
Sadly, substandard medical care can place gastric bypass patients at great risk for infection, severe injuries and even death. Texas law allows a patient who has suffered medical injury due to negligence to seek financial recovery for his or her losses in court. If a fatality has occurred, an immediate family member may seek restitution on behalf of a deceased loved one.