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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    1

    Default Cut Bowel During Lap Bariatric Surgery, Causing Sepsis and Emergency Second Surgery

    My question involves medical malpractice in the state of: Colorado

    I have had previous bowel surgeries and had a surgery the end of july 2014 to remove all the scar adhesions. I explained this to the bariatric surgeon when i met with him and chose to have the sleeve because i didn't want anything to add more scar tissue to my bowels. he did the sleeve surgery 4/13/15 and sent me back to my room. i can't remember what happened for me to tank because i remember being happy and walking. something happened and early in the wee hours of the morning he did an emergency surgery and cut me open about 8" because he had cut my bowels during the first surgery and didn't know it. he did whatever to get as much bacteria out of my abdomen and inserted 2 christmas ornament size balls on each side of my body. the plastic was left deep in my bowels to remove all the remaining bacteria. the balls were left outside my body. they drained and the nurses stretched the tubes on the outside several times a day and emptied the balls. he also left a huge open wound in my abdomen that was stuffed with sponge and a vacuum attached to it to heal it from the inside out. I was in the ICU for 1 day. I was only supposed to be in the hospital 2 days and ended up in there for 8. I did have sepsis. I have anxiety because I don't know what i'm feeling is normal. I went to the ER today because of dizziness, passing out, shoulder arm pain. I've been trying to find a mal practice attorney in my area to get answers from whether I have a case or not. I can't find anyone. what i've learned is that these are difficult and expensive suits to litigate. I know I have 2 years to file. I know there are going to be further complications as time passes. I'm afraid i'm going to have to have more frequent surgeries for the added scar tissue from this surgery. I'm afraid my stomach is disfigured (like I have a butt). I don't know where to turn to for help. If anyone has had a similar experience in colorado or anywhere I would really appreciate your sharing. thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Cut Bowel During Lap Bariatric Surgery, Causing Sepsis and Emergency Second Surge

    I'm really sorry for your pain. It's a trial to live with, isn't it?

    If you Google "Colorado med mal attorney" you'll find quite a lot of attorneys. They don't have to be in your town and if you consult several and they all think it's not worth litigation, at least you'll have an answer.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Midwest Frozen Tundra
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: Cut Bowel During Lap Bariatric Surgery, Causing Sepsis and Emergency Second Surge

    I also feel for your pain. It's a difficult thing to do and doctors just aren't very good at managing it, with all the red-tape involved just for prescribing Vicodin for someone.

    Those "balls" you describe are called Jackson-Pratt drains and they drain fluid collecting in your abdomen. A better option for you, instead of litigation, might be to consult with your doctor and ask about scar tissue formation and what can be done to help prevent it, or further treatment once you have healed.

    You mentioned that you had bariatric surgery. Your body will go through many changes because of the surgery. Dizziness and passing out often happen after bariatric surgery because your metabolism is undergoing a lot of changes. The shoulder pain is referred pain because air or gas is usually introduced into the abdominal cavity for the surgeon to better visualize the internal organs and target the surgical area. That gas can take an awfully long time to dissipate and it is really painful. One thing you can do to help yourself heal is to take short walks to help get the gas absorbed and out of the external space where it is. Your anxiety is very understandable, given all you've been through, and being in the ICU is a scary experience. If you have a counselor you could talk to that would be very helpful and give you some good tools to help you deal with those feelings.

    Once you have lost some of the weight you will see that your abdomen starts to take on its new shape. At that point it is a good idea to discuss options.

    I don't think your physician did anything wrong. A bowel perforation is generally a known complication for bariatric surgery. It sounds as if you had a rough time, but I think if you try the softer approach with your surgeon you may get some good ideas and he or she may be able to offer a discount to you if you need one, or they could offer some sort of compensation. You would have signed a consent for the surgery which lists every possible side effect of gastric banding, including bowel perforation, infection, sepsis, paralysis, lingering pain, incisional site pain, essentially everything except growing a second nose and the operation notes will say that you stated you understood the risks and benefits of the surgery and have agreed to proceed knowing what you are about to do. While I don't think your surgeon was culpable of malpractice, he or she may want to help if you ask.

    I hope you have home care nurses for the wound-vac and that they are helpful to you. The wound-vac is used when the sides of the incision can't be brought close enough to heal with sutures, staples or stitches, and the incision is healing by secondary intention, which is healing from the inside out. Yes you may have more scar tissue in the wound formation but also as you lose weight you may have options to disguise the scar.

    I, too, have a scar from an emergency hysterectomy that took a long, painful time to heal. I have larger sites of scarring and I believe that you
    are in a lot of pain.

    Please keep me posted. I would like to hear how things work out for you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Cut Bowel During Lap Bariatric Surgery, Causing Sepsis and Emergency Second Surge

    Quote Quoting No_Angel
    View Post
    I also feel for your pain. It's a difficult thing to do and doctors just aren't very good at managing it, with all the red-tape involved just for prescribing Vicodin for someone.

    Those "balls" you describe are called Jackson-Pratt drains and they drain fluid collecting in your abdomen. A better option for you, instead of litigation, might be to consult with your doctor and ask about scar tissue formation and what can be done to help prevent it, or further treatment once you have healed.

    You mentioned that you had bariatric surgery. Your body will go through many changes because of the surgery. Dizziness and passing out often happen after bariatric surgery because your metabolism is undergoing a lot of changes. The shoulder pain is referred pain because air or gas is usually introduced into the abdominal cavity for the surgeon to better visualize the internal organs and target the surgical area. That gas can take an awfully long time to dissipate and it is really painful. One thing you can do to help yourself heal is to take short walks to help get the gas absorbed and out of the external space where it is. Your anxiety is very understandable, given all you've been through, and being in the ICU is a scary experience. If you have a counselor you could talk to that would be very helpful and give you some good tools to help you deal with those feelings.

    Once you have lost some of the weight you will see that your abdomen starts to take on its new shape. At that point it is a good idea to discuss options.

    I don't think your physician did anything wrong. A bowel perforation is generally a known complication for bariatric surgery. It sounds as if you had a rough time, but I think if you try the softer approach with your surgeon you may get some good ideas and he or she may be able to offer a discount to you if you need one, or they could offer some sort of compensation. You would have signed a consent for the surgery which lists every possible side effect of gastric banding, including bowel perforation, infection, sepsis, paralysis, lingering pain, incisional site pain, essentially everything except growing a second nose and the operation notes will say that you stated you understood the risks and benefits of the surgery and have agreed to proceed knowing what you are about to do. While I don't think your surgeon was culpable of malpractice, he or she may want to help if you ask.

    I hope you have home care nurses for the wound-vac and that they are helpful to you. The wound-vac is used when the sides of the incision can't be brought close enough to heal with sutures, staples or stitches, and the incision is healing by secondary intention, which is healing from the inside out. Yes you may have more scar tissue in the wound formation but also as you lose weight you may have options to disguise the scar.

    I, too, have a scar from an emergency hysterectomy that took a long, painful time to heal. I have larger sites of scarring and I believe that you
    are in a lot of pain.

    Please keep me posted. I would like to hear how things work out for you


    ^^^^ This is an amazing response. I can't even think of a comment other than "everyone needs to read this".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    854

    Default Re: Cut Bowel During Lap Bariatric Surgery, Causing Sepsis and Emergency Second Surge

    Agree with Doggie 1000%. That was an amazing response!

    I only have one thing to add: my husband had GB surgery in 2010 and it went off without a hitch. Almost 2 years to the day he thought he had a GI bug. He ended up in the hospital and required emergency surgery to save his life. A portion of the bowel had fallen and twisted in two places. I'd never heard him scream like that the pain was so intense. It took 8 hours in the ER culminating in vomiting a copious amount of blood to get him into surgery.

    If you EVER, EVER become unable to go to the bathroom or pass gas for more than a day, get to the ER as soon as possible.

    If you don't have any confidence in your surgeon, find another one ASAP for your aftercare, someone who practices nearby.

    I'm so sorry for the ordeal you have been through, and I hope the surgery is ultimately a success.

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