Gastric bypass patient wins £35,000 after surgical negligence
5th February 2013
The dangers of undergoing gastric bypass surgery in order to lose weight, is something Medical Specialists Pharmacy covered in June 2012. For those unaware, a gastric bypass is an operation whereby the surgeon will make your stomach smaller and also reduce the length of small intestine that food travels through. It is usually performed via keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. With this method of surgery, small cuts are made are in the abdomen instead of one much bigger cut. The surgeon uses small instruments assisted by the aid of a camera to see the surgical field. However, it is estimated that around 25% of patients who have undergone this type of surgery later require additional treatment because of a post-operative complication. The dangers of keyhole surgery have been further laid bare this week with the news that a 28 year-old mother of two has won a whopping £35,000 pay-out due to a botched operation. Rachel Benefer from Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, decided on weight loss surgery after reaching a weight of 23 stone in 2007. She realised that she urgently needed to do something about it before her health became affected as obesity is a well-known high risk factor for numerous problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and many more. Unfortunately, Mrs Benefer found it difficult due to shed the excess pounds because of an old back injury hampering her efforts as well as having polycystic ovary syndrome - a condition that interferes with hormones and results in unpleasant symptoms such as acne, irregular periods, hair loss and weight gain. It was then Mrs Benefer decided to read up on gastric bypass surgery and thought this was the route to take. At a staggering £9,500 – £15,000 for an op, she was rejected for funding on the premise she had to visit a dietician and psychologist for twelve months before being approved for the surgery. In retrospect, following her 2007 surgery at Hull and East Riding Classic Hospital, perhaps Rachel would have chosen against opting for this method of weight loss. Despite seemingly being a successful operation, problems began to arise after just a few days. Rachel explains: “Everything seemed fine and I was discharged. But a few days later I was being sick and I was in agony. I was rushed to hospital and ended up in intensive care for two weeks and was later placed in an induced coma.” The surgeon had not correctly closed a small incision which led to Rachel developing a hernia. This restricted her small bowel and the severe pressure had obliterated the stomach bypass. When doctors realised the serious situation they were dealing with, Rachel had to be rushed into intensive care and then placed in the induced coma. Because of the complications arising from her botched surgery, Rachel needed to undergo two further operations and had to endure 11 days on a ventilator. She continued: “I spent a total of 11 days on a ventilator and also underwent a tracheotomy. People think having a gastric bypass is an easy way out, but I had thought about it and had tried everything to lose weight, including hypnotherapy. When I was at 23 stone I was just a mess, I was depressed and also stopped working as a carer because I couldn't get about, I became a recluse. Before I hit puberty I was extremely thin but then the weight just piled on, even though I often only ate one meal a day. I didn't eat a lot of chocolate, sweets or crisps, I ate normal meals. My husband Chris has been by my side the whole time, we have been married for eight years and he loves me, no matter how much I weigh.” With Gastric surgery costing up to £15,000, this last resort and potentially dangerous weight loss method is clearly not for everybody, especially in times of financial austerity. If you are obese why not try a clinically proven weight loss aid such as Xenical, Alli or XLS-Medical Fat Binder. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet in conjunction with one of these treatments can help you lose weight. All three are available today from Medical Specialists Pharmacy at fantastic prices. Head to the ‘Obesity’ area of the website for more information about how to obtain them.