Medical malpractice is something no one should have to deal with.
Unfortunately, though, it's a harsh reality in today's world.
Patient experts at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland found that 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical errors in the U.S.
Astonishingly enough, this makes it the third leading cause of death in the country, behind heart disease and cancer.
With that many deaths every year, there are many more injuries.
Even the most common surgeries can result in injury.
One of the most common is weight loss surgery.
Over the years, weight loss surgery has been becoming increasingly popular as a way to lose a lot of weight and regain your health.
So with the increase in popularity likely comes an increase in malpractice.
In this article, we will discuss common types of weight loss surgery, and what to do if you're injured as a result of your operation.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Weight Loss Surgery
- What Happens If You're Injured
- Malpractice Or A Poor Result
- The Final Step
What Is Weight Loss Surgery?
The primary goal of weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is to help you lose weight and reduce your risk of illnesses due to obesity.
Bariatric surgery helps with weight loss in two ways, restriction and malabsorption.
Restriction surgery limits the amount of food your stomach can hold, which limits the number of calories you can consume.
Malabsorption surgery shortens or bypasses part of the small intestine, which reduces the number of calories and nutrients the body absorbs.
Getting either one of those surgeries will go a long way to help you lose weight and achieve optimal health.
What Happens If You're Injured?
Surgeons owe every one of their patients a certain standard of care.
Their level of skill, expertise, and care should be the same possessed and practiced by physicians in the same community under similar circumstances.
Your weight loss surgeon is held to the same standard as any other weight loss surgeon in the country, and you should be confident that you can undergo surgery without any additional risks.
Like any surgical procedure, gastric bypasses, lap-band procedures, and other weight-loss surgeries are risky.
Surgery in itself is inherently risky.
However, if something goes wrong, how do you know if it was an inherent risk or a case of malpractice?
When can you sue the surgeon or clinic for damages?
Surgical Standards Of Care
The only way to answer that question depends on the standard of care and whether or not your surgeon met it.
In every medical malpractice case, you need to determine whether your doctor or surgeon acted in a manner consistent with the expectations of the medical community.
Your weight loss surgeon needs to act in a way that is inconsistent with the standard of care upheld by other surgeons in his community.
If they don't, they could be held liable for any harm that comes from not adhering to those standards.
Establishing that standard, and then proving your surgeon didn't meet it, can be incredibly difficult.
You need to present expert testimony defining the standard of care, and proving your surgeon was negligent by not upholding that standard.
This is tricky because the experts in the field tend to be other doctors, and doctors like to avoid calling each other negligent.
If you were injured during your surgery, and you think it's due to medical malpractice, there are certain things you need to do as soon as possible.
If you were injured due to negligence from your surgeon, you need to start building your medical malpractice case right away.
Take these first steps right away:
Collect Relevant Paperwork. Your diagnoses, prescriptions, bills, and any other documents you've received from medical professionals regarding the surgery could be relevant.
Contact the Medical Professional Involved. Sometimes a simple conversation can clear the air.
Contact the Relevant Medical Licensing Board. Although the board can't compensate you for injuries, it can issue warnings or discipline to the surgeon.
Know How Long You Have to File a Claim. Look up your state's statutes of limitation immediately. The laws on medical malpractice claims vary widely, and you don't want to miss a deadline.
Malpractice Or A Poor Result?
It's important to know whether you've been the victim of medical malpractice, or if you just haven't had the outcome you expected.
An injury is not the same as a poor result.
Understandably, if you've gone through weight loss surgery, you'll expect immediate and drastic weight loss after your surgery.
You've gone through extreme lengths in order to slim down. So, naturally, you want drastic results.
It's important not to blame your surgeon based solely on poor results.
There are some reasons your weight loss surgery could have been unsuccessful without any malpractice.
That's why the conversation you have with your surgeon if you feel like you're a victim of malpractice is essential.
Talk about what you think went wrong. You need to have a sense of whether your doctor committed medical negligence or if your procedure didn’t work.
For example, during the conversation you might find out that you didn't follow your doctor's orders after the surgery, leading to your unfortunate result.
The Final Step
If you still feel like you're a victim of malpractice, and not just disappointed from the result, there's one last thing you need to do.
The last step, but one you want to take as soon as possible, is to contact an attorney.
If you have been a victim of malpractice, you'll need the help of an experienced attorney.
Your attorney will take you by the hand and guide you through the process, ensuring you get what you deserve.
The lawyers at The Brown Firm are more than prepared to help you with your lawsuit.
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