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Weight loss surgery has been carried out for decades however recent improvement in technique has led to over 10,000 gastric bands being fitted every year with varying degrees of success. According to insurers the incidence of post-operative infection, leakage and technical difficulties in maintaining placement of these biomedical devices used to reduce stomach capacity has led to a massive increase in the numbers of solicitors gastric band medical negligence compensation claims. Bariatric surgery in itself is not without problems due to the overall risk of giving anaesthetic to clinically obese patients who are often elderly and this of itself may cause fatalities some of which can be considered to be medical negligence, due to failure to properly asses risk after consideration of the patients physical condition prior to weight loss surgery.


It is estimated that over 5,000 patients have weight loss surgery carried out privately and in excess of 4,000 procedures are dealt with by the NHS with numerous gastric band medical negligence compensation claims reaching the courts every year. Reasons for the increase in compensation claims after bariatric surgery include inadequate surgical technique, negligent after-care and failure by doctors to fully explain the risks of the operation. Whilst not all cases involving gastric band medical negligence are life threatening there has nevertheless been an unacceptable number of deaths following bariatric surgery. The Medical Defence Union who insure most doctors estimate that the current value of weight loss surgery claims ranges from £2,500 to £500,000, the most serious of which result from death caused by post-operative infection.

Compensation Claim Numbers

The problem of solicitors gastric band medical negligence compensation claims is not expected to improve due to the extreme pressure on doctors to relieve the rising incidence of obesity, in consideration of the fact that over one million Britons have a body mass index in excess of 40 thereby qualifying for the operations most basic criteria. Whilst each operation costs the NHS almost £7,000 it is thought to be a cheaper alternative than treating obesity which on average costs the NHS over £2,000 per annum. Whilst techniques will improve and negligence rates will decrease, the overall numbers of gastric band medical negligence cases will continue to increase due to the increased incidence of those undergoing bariatric surgery.

Medical Negligence Solicitors - Gastric Band Surgery

Our specialist medical negligence solicitors have detailed experience in dealing with gastric band compensation claims. If you would like free advice without obligation just email our solicitors offices, complete the contact form or use the helpline to speak to UK lawyers who specialise in personal injury compensation claims. Our solicitors operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. Please contact us for help pursuing your claim.

Weight Loss Surgery Information

Thousands of clinical compensation claims are initiated every year in the United Kingdom by medical negligence solicitors on behalf of people from all walks of life. A multitude of operations and procedures are executed successfully however a small percentage do go wrong, laying the grounds for medical negligence solicitors to take legal action in order to claim compensation. Both legal aid and the no win no fee* scheme are available to pursue medical negligence compensation claims.

Weight loss surgery is also called bariatric surgery and is designed to alter the function of your digestive system so you take in very little food at a time. The end result of bariatric surgery is that you lose weight-often up to hundreds of pounds. The medical conditions associated with obesity often go away so that you are of a normal weight without diseases like hypertension and obesity. The most common weight loss surgery is called a gastric bypass because it actually shrinks the size of the stomach and bypasses the way food goes down the digestive tract.

The gastric bypass isn't the right procedure for everyone. It is a huge procedure that carries its own risks and side effects. Even with the surgery, you need to make sure you change your lifestyle so as to affect the greatest change in the weight. You need to prepare a great deal for weight loss surgery so you know how to eat, how to exercise and what to eat to keep your body healthy. The surgical success depends on the surgeon and your ability to follow the directions of the bariatric staff.

Gastric bypass surgery is especially designed for people with a BMI of 40 or greater. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure and you have a BMI of 35-40, you may also be a candidate for the procedure.

There are various types of gastric bypass surgery. These include:

  • Roux-en-Y bariatric surgery. Most doctors prefer this type of surgery. The doctor creates a small gastric pouch and bypasses a part of the small intestine to limit absorption of food.
  • Biliopancreatic Diversion with duodenal switch. This involves making a small sleeve out of the stomach and a limited portion of the small intestine remains. The rest of the small intestine is not connected to food absorption. There is an increased risk of complications, including malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies with this procedure. It is reserved for those with a BMI of greater than 50.
  • The Lap Band Procedure. This involves using an inflatable band that is placed like a doughnut around your stomach, creating a small gastric pouch. The band can be adjusted to allow the passage of more or less food through the doughnut hole. It is a simple procedure that has a lower complication rate than regular procedures. It doesn't work as fast as the other surgical procedures.
  • The vertical band procedure. This is a procedure that is also called stomach stapling. It divides the stomach in half so there is less space in the stomach. No bypass is performed. It isn't known to lead to adequate long term loss of weight so many doctors don't do it.
  • Sleeve gastrectomy. It is a procedure for very large people who can't have a gastric bypass yet. The stomach is made into a tube and is the first part of the biliopancreatic procedure that is eventually done at a later date when some weight has come off.

Complications of gastric bypass and related procedures include the typical problems with bleeding, infection or hernia formation. With these procedures in particular, there can be vitamin or mineral deficiency, gallstones, dehydration, stomach ulcers that bleed, food intolerance, kidney stones, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. More serious complications include death at the time of surgery, deep vein thromboses which can lead to pulmonary emboli or blood clots in the lungs, pneumonia, leakage along the staple lines, blockage of the stomach exit into the small intestine or narrowing that doesn't allow food to pass, and dumping syndrome, where the food dumps into the small intestine very quickly, leading to nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating or diarrhea.

You'll need to go through an intensive screening process by a physician, psychologist, dietician and surgeon, who will let you know if you are a good candidate for the procedure or not. Certain pre-existing conditions, such as having a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication or heart burn surgery, mean that you can't have the gastric bypass surgery. You need to show a willingness to follow through on the eating recommendations and exercise plan of the doctors and nutritionists so you can have the maximum effect from the surgery. If you aren't medically and psychologically ready for the surgery, it may have to be postponed until a later date.



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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here