With a large portion of the United States being overweight and obese, it isn’t uncommon for individuals to undergo a weight loss surgery of some sort. Although there is generally not a problem during surgery, this doesn’t mean that a surgical mistake cannot ever be made by the operating physician. In fact, it would appear that a surgical error occurred during a recent gastric bypass surgery for a man outside of New York, which now has him suing.
At 275 pounds, a man went in for a gastric bypass surgery in order to “change his life.” However, the way his life changed was not the way he had anticipated. In fact, following the surgery, he ended up losing both of his legs. Apparently, this may have occurred due to a surgical mistake made in the operating room.
It is alleged that the Texas surgeon punctured the man’s main artery early on in the gastric bypass procedure. This mistake resulted in the man losing about four liters of his blood, which then required that he be given blood transfusions. The transfusions stopped the bleeding by closing the artery. Unfortunately, it supposedly was not realized that the artery that had been punctured was the aorta.
When the artery was closed, the blood flow to the lower extremities was apparently shut off. This resulted in his legs losing the blood flow that they needed in order to stay warm and maintain a pulse. Due to the loss of oxygen-rich blood, the legs ended up being amputated. When he awoke following the surgery two weeks later, he became aware of the fact that he hadn’t received the gastric bypass surgery and that he had instead lost both of his legs.
Even during routine surgeries, unexpected issues can crop up, resulting in a new approach in the operating room. However, there is legal recourse for New York victims who suffer due to a surgical mistake. When a surgeon has been careless and that surgeon’s negligence can be proved, the victim may be able to recover compensation for the harm that was caused.
Source: kens5.com, “Man sues after losing legs after surgery“, Jason Wheeler, Nov. 17, 2014