Also known as weight loss surgery, bariatric procedures are commonly offered to patients who are morbidly obese and have tried to lose weight by other means and failed.
Like many other surgical procedures, it can be risky and sometimes result in complications such as haemorrhage (internal bleeding) and damage to other organs. Normally such surgery is performed laparoscopically (keyhole surgery). This reduces the post surgical risk of infection, minimises any scarring and shortens the recovery period. However, sometimes mistakes are made which can have fatal consequences.
Weight loss surgery sometimes involves fitting a band around the patient’s stomach thereby reducing its capacity to hold food. However, if the wrong size band is used or it is fitted incorrectly a leakage or blockage can occur. Gastric bypass involves stapling the stomach and shortening the patient’s intestines. One of the many cases dealt with by David Gazzard over the last 20 years concerned a patient who had keyhole surgery to his abdomen and allegedly suffered lacerations to a number of his organs including his gall bladder and bowel which resulted in leakage, peritonitis and death.