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Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

Mellino Law Firm

September 24, 2014, TheHour reported that bariatric surgery may reverse type 2 diabetes.

“A change in diet can help obesity and type 2 diabetes but the most successful way to treat these problems is metabolic surgery. At one year after gastric bypass surgery, 82 percent of type 2 diabetics can be resolved of the disease,” the site said.

Before undergoing such a drastic procedure, however, there are some things you should know.

Preparing for Your Gastric Bypass Operation

Everyone makes mistakes, so preparing for bariatric surgery won’t necessarily prevent medical malpractice, but it can help.

First, make sure you’re qualified to have the operation. “When you want to be considered for gastric bypass surgery, you must undergo a thorough evaluation to determine if it’s suitable for your situation,” per the Mayo Clinic. Generally, candidates should have a Body Mass Index (BMI) in the mid-to-high 30s and have an obesity-related medical condition, such as type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea.

Second, find the right surgeon. “Laparoscopic surgery has opened up this whole new problem,” Dr. Philip Schauer, a university director of bariatric surgery told boston.com. “Most surgeons didn’t get this training. It’s a fundamentally different skill.” Inexperience can lead to loose staples or abdominal fluid leaks. In one hospital’s first 100 gastric bypasses, one patient died and 22 suffered an infection, severe bleeding, hernia, or other complication. As a medical malpractice attorney told CBS News in 2005,”You want to know, basically, as much information about the surgeon’s background as you can. Anyone who evades your question, get up and walk out.”

Third, take the necessary tests. In order for your doctor to assess any possible risks, you can expect to undergo any or all of the following, per uhealthcare.org: blood work, a urinalysis, a chemistry panel, a gallbladder ultrasound, an echocardiogram, and psychoanalysis.

Lastly, follow the doctor’s orders. Depending on your health and the surgery you elect, your surgeon may have certain requirements before you can undergo surgery. Afterward, as Medline stated, you will need to change your diet, including what and how often you eat throughout the day.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Malpractice

Several years ago, jurors awarded a man nearly $178 million after gastric bypass surgery left him brain damaged and confined to a wheelchair, according to jacksonville.com. His surgeon had only performed 21 operations. “To meet the standards of the American Society Bariatric Surgery’s Center of Excellence seal, he was required to have performed 50,” the article stated.

According to a study CBS News cited in 2005, 1 in 50 people die within a year of having gastric bypass surgery, and that number quintuples if the surgeon lacked experience.

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