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Death due to weight loss surgery complications | Our Client’s Story

Posted on 25th November 2020
Catherine Henry Lawyers
Catherine Henry Lawyers

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Death due to weight loss surgery complications | Our Client’s Story

We acted for a number of family members of a woman who tragically died from septic shock from the complications of weight loss surgery.

The deceased had a BMI of only 33.6 and should therefore have been regarded as “borderline for any surgery.”

The defendant surgeon performed a gastric bypass procedure.

In the days following the operation, Ms X vomited bile stained fluid and was in significant pain and had stomach distension. A CT scan showed fluid in the bowel and pelvis. She was taken to theatre for a gastrostomy. Post-surgery, the deceased reported worsening abdominal pain.

24 hours later the surgeon operated again – this time performing a laparotomy. The clinical notes of the immediate post-operative period showed signs of possible sepsis. The deceased was very agitated and difficult to sedate, had impaired gas exchange and her abdomen was even more distended.

Again she was taken to theatre for further surgery – a subtotal gastrectomy. In theatre, the patient was significantly unstable.

The day following the fourth surgical procedure, the deceased died. An autopsy reported the cause of death as septic shock following complications of gastric bypass surgery.

Our independent expert was of the view that it was inappropriate to have performed weight loss surgery and that non-operative measures should first have been attempted. The patient’s BMI was below the generally accepted guideline for the performance of bariatric surgery.

The technique used to access the proximal small bowel was not appropriate and likely to cause obstruction.

The third operation – the laparotomy – should have included a decompressing gastronomy. By the time of the fourth operation, it was not appropriate to perform a subtotal gastrectomy.

If you or a loved one have experienced the negative impacts of bariatric surgery, please get in touch with one of our caring, expert, health lawyers about the options available to you.

Taking legal action holds those responsible accountable for avoidable outcomes leading to injury and loss.

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