As one of the most popular types of weight loss surgery for individuals that are considered to be obese, gastric bypass surgeries have been performed on thousands of individuals across the United States.
The surgical procedure is used to reduce the size of the stomach and reduce the amount of calories that are absorbed into the body during each meal, allowing the individual to drop a large amount of weight fairly quickly. Although the procedure had been considered relatively safe for years, there is now some concern about complications from the surgery and the surgical items installed during the surgery which may prove to be life threatening to a number of individuals that have had gastric bypass surgery performed.
Gastric bypass surgery is only approved for individuals that are considered extremely obese and will only be performed after a complete evaluation by a licensed physician. A psychological profile will also be taken to determine whether the individual is ready to change their eating habits and are willing to change their lifestyle to a much healthier one. Because a gastric bypass is considered to be a major surgical procedure, it is not intended to be a casual weight loss measure and major lifestyle changes are also needed to ensure the procedure’s success.
The Details of Gastric Bypass Surgery
When a physician performs a gastric bypass, the procedure is accomplished in three stages. First, the patient is anesthesized to ensure that they will not experience any discomfort during the surgery. The next step is to make the stomach smaller, which is accomplished by taking the small upper portion of the stomach and segregating it from the larger lower portion of the stomach using staples that have been created solely for use during gastric bypass surgery.
The last stage of the surgical procedure is connecting the small intestine to the small upper portion of the stomach. As this portion of the stomach will be the only portion that will be receiving food from now on, it is very important that the connection of the small intestine to this portion of the stomach be attached properly to allow the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to travel from the stomach to the small intestine for absorbtion. When the gastric bypass is complete, the individual will have a much smaller stomach that will only allow them to eat small quantities of food at a time and limits the number of calories that are absorbed into the body resulting in dramatic weight loss.
Surgical Staple Complications
Recently, an issue has arisen about the effectiness of the staples used during a gastric bypass surgical procedure. It has been discovered that the staples and the surgical staplers used for the procedure can cause severe complications, including death, by not sealing the areas properly, causing leakage into the abdominal cavity, separation of the areas that were stapled, and other adverse events. To date, the US Food and Drug Administration has received approximately 100 reports of deaths and over 9,000 reports of serious adverse events related to the use of the surgical staples and staplers commonly used in the procedure.
Defective Sugical Stapler Alert
In May 2007, a jury found that a woman’s death was caused by a defective surgical stapler. The jury awarded the victim’s family $5 million.
To date, the FDA has received reports of approximately 100 deaths related to surgical staplers. In addition, they have received approximately 9,000 reports of “adverse events”, including injuries and complications from surgical staples and the stapler unit itself.