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What is Gastric Branding?

Gastric banding is a surgical procedure which was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration in 2001 as a means for helping obese patients successfully manage their weight. The procedure is usually only recommended for those with over 100 pounds in extra weight, with a body mass index exceeding 35 who suffer from sleep apnea or diabetes. Gastric banding differs from the more invasive procedure gastric bypass, which reroutes, or “bypasses” the digestive tract.

Gastric Banding Procedure

The purpose of gastric banding surgeries is to alter the stomach’s size, thus making it harder for a person to overeat or gain extra weight. The band used by the surgeon goes around the top of the stomach to reduce the amount of food that will fit. Following surgery, the band can be adjusted to fit the individual patient’s personal preferences and specific dietary needs.

Gastric banding is performed via laparoscopy with the patient put under general anesthesia. Once the patient is under, some small incisions are made in the abdominal wall and a small camera is used to help the surgeon guide the surgical instruments and band into the proper location.

Risks Involved

There are risks associated with gastric banding, just as there are with any other surgical procedure. The risks that are considered acceptable or commonplace include an increased chance of things like bowel obstructions, ulcers, poor nutrition, severe depression, stomach injuries, gallstones and gastritis, all caused by the band’s presence.

If the surgery is not done properly due to negligence on the part of an anesthesiologist, surgeon, doctor or nurse, the risk of the surgery failing and causing serious health consequences for the patient skyrockets.

Complications with Gastric Banding

It is possible for anyone having a gastric banding procedure to fall victim to negligence and subsequent injury. Along with those problems listed above, negligence may also cause:

• The band slipping and altering the stomach size
• Anesthesia-related respiratory distress
• Massive blood loss
• Malnutrition
• Infections
• Blockages

If the doctor or surgeon recommended the procedure to someone for whom the surgery wasn’t appropriate or failed to keep an eye on and properly treat the patient following surgery, they may be guilty of negligence.

Negligence and Medical Malpractice

Patients of the banding procedure or the family members surviving them can file for a malpractice suit so long as their injuries are proven to have resulted from medical negligence. Mediation and arbitration are two other ways to go about this. Some of the damages victims may be entitled to include pain and suffering, punitive damages, medical expenses, and lost wages both past and future.

Legal Assistance

Financial recovery and money for damages may be at stake for victims and their families. Finding an experienced malpractice attorney is recommended to ensure that patient rights are secured and that the victim received everything they’re owed. Hospitals and the medical staff who work for them are often defended by teams of highly competent lawyers. Victims of gastric banding malpractice and their families deserve the same protections.