Gastric band surgery negligence claims

Introduction

Updated: October 8, 2018

The NHS has reported a marked increase in the number of patients undergoing bariatric, or 'gastric band', surgery.

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Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding involves the positioning of a silicone band around the upper stomach for the purpose of limiting the amount of food that can be consumed.

In many cases, bariatric surgery is successful and improves the health and quality of life of the patient. However, as with all surgical procedures, having a gastric band inserted does involve a certain amount of risk.

In some cases, a negative outcome is the result of a known risk that the patient will have been informed of before the surgery and will have accepted. However, in a small number of cases, harm may be the result of negligence, and may entitle you to claim compensation

The distinction between a negative but anticipated outcome and clinical negligence can be a difficult line to draw, and will often depend on the facts of the case.

Surgeons in theatre

Do I have a claim for gastric band surgery negligence?

If you have suffered gastric band surgery negligence in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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What are the risks of gastric band surgery?

As with any kind of surgery, the use of anaesthetics carries a risk to the patient. Potential complications include nausea, damage to the teeth and throat, and problems with the heart as well as the respiratory system. Doctors are obliged to check that the patient is fit to withstand the administration of anaesthesia in order to decrease the likelihood of such complications occurring.

Patients who undergo bariatric surgery should be given appropriate advice regarding nutrition, particularly in the aftermath of the operation. Because the patient is not able to consume the same amount of food as before, they may not be getting the appropriate level of nutrients for optimum health. It is vital that medical professionals monitor the nutritional intake of gastric band patients, and prescribe supplements if necessary.

Negative outcomes

Peritonitis is an infection that can occur in the aftermath of bariatric surgery. The infection is caused by a leakage of gastric fluid into the stomach, and can endanger the patient's life. Symptoms of peritonitis include fever and debilitating pain.

When the incision made during surgery does not heal properly, an incision hernia can result. This can cause pain and suffering, and may require further corrective surgery.

If gastric surgery is performed by a less competent medical professional, the blood vessels can become damaged. On some occasions, this can result in a pulmonary embolism, which can endanger a person's life.

The intestines can become blocked following the insertion of a gastric band. This can cause a condition known as aspiration, in which the contents of the stomach reach the lungs. The patient may then struggle to breathe as the lungs attempt to expel this foreign matter.

General infections can be an unfortunate side effect of gastric band surgery. This can happen if the surgeon failed to operate within an environment that was suitably sterile. Infections of the wound, for example, can also be caused by poor post operative care. If these kinds of infections are not managed from the outset, further complications can result that compromise the health and well-being of the patient.

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Identifying negligence

Notification of the risks

If you were not properly informed of the risks, and you are affected by a negative outcome of the surgery which was not brought to your attention, this failure may amount to negligence and you may be able to claim.

During surgery

Surgical negligence may occur in cases where the surgical team took unnecessary risks during the surgery or were otherwise negligent and you sustained injury as a result.

Pre and post-operative care

You are entitled to sufficient pre- and post-operative care to anticipate and monitor the above risks. If failures either before or after the surgery result in harm that would have been avoided if correct procedures had been followed, a claim may be possible.

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How much compensation can I claim for a gastric band surgery negligence?

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our medical negligence compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Meet the QLS team

Our nationwide panel of solicitors handle all types of clinical negligence claims and have a wealth of expertise with short-term, serious and life-changing injury claims. Our solicitors are selected on the basis of their knowledge and expertise and their winning track record.

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Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Carol Cook Clinical Negligence Panel Solicitor
Lee Raynor Clinical Negligence Panel Solicitor
Paul Carvis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Paul is a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and has served as a Deputy District Judge, giving him a uniquely broad understanding of the claims process.

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