What Are the Potential Complications of Gastric Bypass Surgery?

gastric bypass surgeryAs with any surgical procedure, gastric bypass surgery does carry a few risks. These risks should be conveyed by your surgeon and healthcare professional prior to your consenting to the procedure. Also, if there are special risks associated with your health, your surgeon must discuss those, so that you can make an informed consent. Regardless of potential risks, problems can arise during surgery, as well as during your recovery, that can cause permanent, lifelong injuries. If you suffered unnecessary or preventable complications with your gastric bypass surgery, you may have a case for medical malpractice.

The complications for this procedure will vary depending on the type of procedure that you are undergoing – whether it is an open surgery or laparoscopic, for example.

Complications Associated with Laparoscopic and Open Gastric Bypass Surgeries

There are certain complications – anastomotic leaks, embolisms, and pneumonia to name a few – that are associated with all types of surgeries. When an open gastric bypass procedure is done, there are certain risks associated with that procedure, including:

  • Incisional hernia
  • Organ injury
  • Wound infection

Laparoscopic surgeries, while less invasive, are not risk-free, either. In fact, these procedures carry multiple risks, including:

  • Bowel obstructions
  • Gastrointestinal hemorrhage
  • Stromal stenosis

Laparoscopic procedures carry risks when the surgeon is inexperienced with the equipment or has not performed enough laparoscopic procedures to understand them properly.

What is the Likelihood That You Will Develop a Complication?

No one can predict 100 percent whether you will have complications, but there are certain things that put you at higher risk for complication. Most complications occur early on – such as during the surgery or in the immediate recovery phase. But, there are rare instances where your complications will manifest a few days, or even weeks, later.

What are the Potential Complications?

Complications can sound intimidating, but as long as your surgeon is careful and you follow all pre- and post-operative care instructions, you may avoid the risk. Just some complications associated with this procedure include:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Bowel function issues – including blockages
  • Bowel obstructions
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Dehydration
  • Indigestion
  • Gallstones
  • Low blood sugar
  • GERD
  • Incisional hernia
  • Sudden intolerance to foods
  • Kidney stones
  • Infection
  • Ulcers
  • Organ injury
  • Nutritional deficiency

Can You Minimize Risks?

There are things that you can do to minimize risks. These include:

  1. Discussing all potential risks associated with your specific health, as well as the type of procedure. Go over the likelihood that these risks could happen to you, based on your medical history. Do not consent to the procedure until you fully understand these risks.
  2. Following all pre-op instructions given to you by your surgeon. This may include fasting or not drinking after a certain hour, stopping medications, etc. If you did not follow these instructions, inform the pre-op team to make sure that you are still fit for surgery.
  3. Following all postoperative instructions. These are given to you to help prevent infection and complications.
  4. Researching your surgeon before consenting, as well. Then, investigate which facility will be performing the procedure to make sure that it has a low rate for postoperative infections, complications, etc. You can also investigate the surgeon’s healthcare grade online.

Were You Injured During or After Your Gastric Bypass Procedure?

If you or a loved one suffered complications due to a surgeon’s error or postoperative infection, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice claim. Contact the attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe Attorneys at Law. We offer free, no-obligation consultations. Get started by scheduling yours today at 877-678-3400 or filling out our online contact form with your legal questions.