THE RISKS OF BARIATRIC SURGERY

Obesity is at epic levels in America due to our poor diet and lack of exercise. Obesity is associated with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, some types of cancer, and other medical problems. Bariatrics is the field of medicine that specializes in treating obesity and bariatric surgery is the term for operations to help promote weight loss.

Bariatric surgery is intended for people who are 100 pounds or more overweight (with a Body Mass Index of 40 or greater) and who have not had success with other, less risky weight loss therapies such as diet, exercise, medications, etc. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a standard way to define the overweight, the obese, and the morbidly obese. The BMI is calculated based on a person’s height and weight – weight in kilograms (2.2 pounds per kilogram) divided by the square of height in meters (39.37 inches per meter). A BMI of 25 or more is considered overweight; 30 or more, obese; and 40 or more, morbidly obese. Bariatric surgery may be offered to patients who are morbidly obese when medical treatments, including lifestyle changes of healthful eating and regular exercise, have not been effective. In some cases, a person with a BMI of 35 or greater and one or more co-morbid conditions may be considered for bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery is not without substantial risks to the patient. According to a recent study, 4 out of every 10 patients who undergo bariatric surgery for obesity develop a complication, such as vomiting and diarrhea, hernias, and leaks, within six months after leaving the hospital. See the report here.

If you, or someone you know, are considering bariatric surgery check out the information at these sites:

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Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.