Bariatric Surgeon Expert Witnesses
The expertise you need for cases involving bariatric surgery malpractice
Bariatric surgery (weight-loss surgery) includes a variety of procedures performed on obese patients, including implanting medical devices, removing portions of the stomach, or re-routing the small intestine (gastric bypass). The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery for obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40, and for people with a BMI of 35 and serious coexisting medical conditions such as diabetes.
Bariatric surgeons are physicians who specialize in performing these surgeries. Beyond medical school, a bariatric surgeon’s training includes a residency in general surgery, followed by a fellowship in bariatric surgery. During this fellowship, the surgeon receives intensive training in various weight loss surgeries, including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding.
Bariatric surgeons may also choose to pursue certification from the American Board of Surgery, which requires passing a rigorous examination to demonstrate knowledge and skills in bariatric surgery. In addition, they may be members of professional organizations such as the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
Bariatric surgery malpractice matters
As with any surgery, bariatric surgery errors can cause serious harm to patients. Some examples of bariatric surgery malpractice include:
- Improper patient selection: Bariatric surgery is only suitable for certain patients who meet specific criteria, as mentioned above. If a surgeon performs bariatric surgery on a patient who is not an appropriate candidate, it can result in complications such as bleeding, infections, and organ damage.
- Inadequate preoperative preparation: Before bariatric surgery, patients must undergo various tests and evaluations to determine their overall health and suitability for the procedure. Failure to properly prepare the patient can result in complications such as blood clots, pulmonary embolism, and cardiac arrest.
- Surgical errors: Mistakes made during bariatric surgery can result in serious complications, such as perforation of the stomach or intestines, leakage of gastric contents, and damage to nearby organs.
- Postoperative negligence: Patients require careful monitoring and follow-up care after bariatric surgery to ensure they are healing properly and not experiencing complications. Negligence or failure to provide adequate postoperative care can lead to infections, dehydration, and other serious complications.
- Inadequate informed consent: Patients must be fully informed about the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery before undergoing the procedure. Given the social stigma around obesity, obtaining fully informed consent is especially critical for weight loss procedures.
How a bariatric surgeon can support an injury case
Obesity can be a secondary consequence of many types of injuries that limit a victim’s mobility or ability to exercise. A bariatric surgeon can provide valuable expert testimony to explain the effects of obesity on a victim’s quality of life, as well as potential further complications such as type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, a bariatric surgeon can opine on the likelihood that a patient will need future weight loss surgery and the costs and complications of such procedures.
Find the bariatric surgery medical expert you need
Our national network of medical expert witnesses includes experienced, Board-Certified bariatric surgeons available for both consultation and trial testimony. If you are dealing with a bariatric surgery malpractice matter, contact us today for a free case summary review.