Obesity carries quite a few risks and consequences for overweight individuals. It can strain the heart, impact levels of pain and discomfort, or even put people at risk for secondary conditions, like diabetes. Unfortunately for those trying to regain control over their weight and health, we live in a society where healthy food options and exercise facilities aren’t always readily accessible.
For some people, the best option for permanent weight loss may involve bariatric surgery, which involves the surgical reduction of the stomach through one of several means. Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix for obesity but rather a procedure that helps people limit their food intake and regulate their body mass in the long run as a result.
Unfortunately, as with any other surgical procedure, bariatric procedures carry the risk of a surgeon making a mistake. One of the most dangerous and sadly common bariatric surgical mistakes involves a surgeon who does not adequately follow up with a patient after their procedure.
Many patients experience issues during the post-operative period
Weight loss is not just a physical process. It is also a psychological one. Although many doctors will do their best to support their patients, some people will say whatever they think they need to in order to receive approval for the procedure. Afterward, they may quickly revert to old eating and lifestyle habits.
These habits are no longer just suboptimal. They could be outright dangerous with a physically smaller stomach. Eating too much in a binge session is a common way that people undermine their progress after a bariatric procedure. This can cause stretching of the recently reduced stomach or even internal tearing and bleeding. There are also always risks of issues like infection or internal bleeding due to nicks made by the surgeon on surrounding tissue or forgotten items left inside during the surgery.
Doctors need to follow up with their patients to monitor them for both weight loss and appropriate dietary decisions after a bariatric procedure, as well as for signs of post-operative infections or internal bleeding.
What are the risks patients face if they don’t have proper after-care?
Obviously, a patient who can’t abide by the dietary restrictions put in place by their bariatric surgeon will likely struggle to lose the weight that inspired the procedure in the first place. However, simply not losing the weight is far from the worst possible outcome.
As previously mentioned, patients can develop severe, even life-threatening conditions if they struggle to follow medical recommendations after bariatric surgery. Those who have suffered adverse medical effects or lost a loved one because of inadequate after-care, support and follow-up by a surgeon may have legal rights because of that medical neglect.