Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another Complication For Gastric Bypass Patients

November 27, 2007

Obese patients who suffer complications after gastric bypass surgery may face further health risks because their weight exceeds the limits of diagnostic imaging equipment, according to a study presented November 27 at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. In the study, approximately 27 percent of patients weighing more than 450 pounds needed imaging to diagnose a problem after surgery and could not be accommodated because of their size.

"When patients weigh more than 450 pounds, standard diagnostic imaging often cannot be used," said Raul N. Uppot, M.D., an assistant radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and instructor of radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "In these cases, physicians must resort to other means of diagnosis such as exploratory surgery or using less accurate or more invasive techniques."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity has grown dramatically in the last 20 years. Today, nearly one-third of the American population is obese. Along with the rise in obesity among American adults has come an increase in the number of gastric bypass procedures performed.

The American Society for Bariatric Surgery estimated approximately 140,000 gastric bypass procedures were performed in the United States in 2005. In a gastric bypass procedure, the stomach is surgically reduced, and part of the small intestine is bypassed. Like any surgical procedure, gastric bypass is not without risks. Most common complications include suture tears and leaks, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia and infection. Serious complications tend to be more prevalent among the severely overweight.

Dr. Uppot and colleagues conducted an eight-year retrospective study of all patients weighing more than 450 pounds who underwent a gastric bypass procedure at MGH between June 1999 and April 2007. Patient imaging usage and clinical course were tracked using electronic health records and evaluated to determine the outcomes of those who, based on their weight, were denied their physicians' first choice of imaging. The maximum weight limit for a computed tomography (CT) table is 450 pounds.

The researchers found that 12 (27 percent) of the 44 patients who weighed more than 450 pounds required postsurgical imaging because of a clinical condition, but were denied because they were above the weight restriction for the equipment. Four patients who could not be evaluated with imaging for suspected leaks were required to return for surgery.

Two additional patients with suspected lung blood clots could not undergo a chest CT. Of two patients who came in with nonspecific abdominal pain, one was evaluated with ultrasound and the other one had a barium swallow test. Because imaging was not an option, one patient who suffered trauma underwent exploratory surgery in lieu of noninvasive imaging. Another patient was denied a chest CT and received no further imaging evaluation.

"When obese patients cannot be diagnosed using standard-of-care imaging techniques, then other diagnostic measures have to be instituted," Dr. Uppot said. "Patient care may be ultimately affected due to a compromised diagnosis."

Dr. Uppot noted that the obesity trend cannot be ignored. "Unless major changes are made to the American diet or exercise habits, this is a problem that we will have to address," he said. "When an obese person is contemplating gastric bypass surgery, he or she should consider that they will need follow-up imaging but may not be able to get the appropriate tests."

Co-authors of the paper presented by Dr. Uppot are D.V. Sahani, M.D., D.A. Gervais, M.D., P.R. Mueller, M.D., P.F. Hahn, M.D., Ph.D., and S.I. Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Adapted from materials provided by Radiological Society of North America.

gastric bypass surgery lawsuits

Labels: , , , , , ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gastric Bypass: Star Jones Opens Up About Her Weight Loss

November 22, 2007
For years, Star Jones Reynolds refused to reveal how she lost half of her body size, but now a confident and secure Star is talking in detail about her gastric bypass surgery --- to Access Hollywood’s Tim Vincent.

“The only reason I am talking to you today is to help other women understand they are not by themselves. They are not alone,” Star told Tim.

“Do you regret not having said something earlier?” Tim asked.

“I really wished, god, I could have. I really do. If there’s a regret that’s it,” Star said. “The regret is I wish I was stronger.”

Undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2003, it wasn’t until August of this year that Star Jones Reynolds finally went public on how she dramatically lost 160 pounds. More >>

gastric bypass lawyers

Labels: , , , , , ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

LAP-BAND(R) System Weight-Loss Surgery Associated With More Than 70 Percent Reduced Risk of Death in People With Severe Obesity

November 21, 2007

About Obesity

In the United States, obesity is considered the second leading cause of preventable death (7). Further, research has shown that individuals with a BMI of 35 or more have a reduced life expectancy of nine to 13 years (8). A BMI of 35 or more translates to a weight of 200 pounds or more for a woman of average height (5' 4") when ideal weight at this height is considered to be 140 pounds, and to a weight of 250 pounds or more for man who is six feet tall when ideal weight for this height is considered to be 177 pounds.

About the LAP-BAND(R) System

The LAP-BAND(R) System was approved by the FDA in June 2001 for severely obese adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more or for adults with a BMI of at least 35 plus at least one severe obesity-related health condition, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and asthma. Used in more than 300,000 procedures worldwide, this simple reversible surgically implanted device has safely helped severely obese adults successfully achieve and maintain long- term weight loss.

The LAP-BAND(R) System was developed to facilitate long-term weight loss and reduce the health risks associated with severe and morbid obesity. Unlike gastric bypass, it does not involve stomach cutting, stapling or intestinal re-routing (9,10). Using laparoscopic surgical techniques, the device is placed around the top portion of the patient's stomach, creating a small pouch. By reducing stomach capacity, the LAP-BAND(R) System can help achieve long-term weight loss by creating an earlier feeling of satiety. The LAP-BAND(R) System is adjustable, which means that the inflatable band can be tightened or loosened to help the patient achieve a level of satiety while maintaining a healthy diet. It is also reversible and can be removed at any time.

Severely obese people who received the LAP-BAND(R) Adjustable Gastric Banding System to lose weight had a 72 percent reduction in their risk of dying compared to obese people who were not offered any specific weight-loss treatment, according to findings published in the December issue of the Annals of Surgery (1). The LAP-BAND(R) System was approved in June 2001 by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for weight reduction in severely obese adults.

"This research is critical because it shows that people with severe obesity, who are known to be at a much higher risk than the general population for dying prematurely, may be able to significantly decrease their risk with laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding," explains Dr. Paul O'Brien, FRACS a study author from the Monash University Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) in Melbourne, Australia, head of the Centre for Bariatric Surgery in Melbourne and the National Medical Director for the American Institute of Gastric Banding in Dallas, Texas. "What is also particularly compelling is that this study shows it is possible to gain a significant survival benefit without the risks associated with more invasive bariatric surgical procedures, such as gastric bypass.",228703.shtml

bariatric surgery malpractice attorneys

Labels: , , , , , ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

Luqaimat Diet or Gastric Bypass Surgery

November 16, 2007

Thousands of obese people who had gastric bypass surgeries achieved long-term weight loss. In contrast, the majority of the millions who did dieting, exercise, and used weight-loss drugs failed to maintain their achieved new weights. The scientific reasoning for that observation was described in a medical article at New England Journal of Medicine, May 23rd, 2002.

British scientists found that hunger hormone (Ghrelin) blood levels were raised in those who perform dieting, while it was sharply low at those who had gastric bypass. The lead author David E. Cummings, MD, postulated that if we can block Ghrelin medically we will not feel hunger pains, hence will keep weight off for long. Gastric bypass surgery, works because of two reasons. First, it dramatically reduces the active gastric size to only 5% of the original pre-operative size; therefore, it reduces the food intake volume dramatically. Second, it suppresses the gastric mucosal cells secretion of Ghrelin, due to the contact of food with a very small gastric surface area. more >>

gastric bypass malpractice lawyers

Labels: , , , , ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

ORLive Presents: Minimally Invasive Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

November 7, 2007

Gastric Bypass Weight-loss surgery is the first surgery PinnacleHealth is scheduled to host on the Internet over the next year. Luciano DiMarco, DO, FACOS, medical director of bariatric surgery at PinnacleHealth, will perform Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass on Since 1998, Luciano DiMarco, DO, FACOS, and his partners, have performed this surgery laparoscopically, reducing chance of infection, shortening hospital stay and improving recovery time.

Airing gastric bypass weight-loss surgery online gives prospective and current patients a behind-the-scenes look at what happens during surgery. It showcases the laparoscopic technique.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass malpractice lawyers

Labels: , , ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Bariatric Surgery Conundrum

November 18, 2007 - New York Times
This year, more than 200,000 weight-loss, or bariatric, operations will be performed in the United States, a nearly ten-fold increase in just a decade. The most prominent types are gastric bypass and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (or “Lap-Band”), although there are a few others. Each one works a bit differently, but the general aim is to reduce the stomach’s capacity and thereby thwart the appetite. If all goes well, bariatric surgery leads to substantial weight loss, especially among the morbidly obese.

Marc Bessler, director of the Center for Obesity Surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, is an innovator in the field who personally performs about 200 bariatric operations a year. Because his own father was morbidly obese, Bessler brings a personal zeal to his work. “The whole time I was growing up, he was so overweight he couldn’t play ball with us,” he says. “He died at age 54 from colon cancer. It may have been picked up late because of his obesity.”

Bessler acknowledges that bariatric surgery has a checkered history. “In the past, it killed people, and it didn’t work,” he says. “In the late 1950s and early 1960s, even though it was effective for weight loss, there was lots of complications and mortality. Then in the late ’70s and early ’80s, there were much better surgeries, but they didn’t really work that well. The weight would start coming back.”

Technological innovations, especially the use of laparoscopic procedures, have made for considerable gains in safety and efficacy. While the operation is still dangerous in some circumstances — one study found that for a surgeon’s first 19 bariatric operations, patients were nearly five times as likely to die than patients that the surgeon later operated on — the overall mortality rate is now in the neighborhood of 1 percent.

But even if bariatric surgery doesn’t kill you, there are things to worry about. The operation often produces complications — physiological ones, to be sure, but also perhaps psychological ones. A significant fraction of postbariatric patients acquire new addictions like gambling, smoking, compulsive shopping or alcoholism once they are no longer addicted to eating. In certain cases, some people also learn to outfox the procedure by taking in calories in liquid form (drinking chocolate syrup straight from the can, for instance) or simply drinking and eating at the same time. Surgery is also a lot more expensive than even the most lavish diet, with a Lap-Band procedure costing about $20,000 and a gastric bypass about $30,000.

But Bessler and other bariatric advocates argue that the upsides outweigh the downsides, especially for a morbidly obese patient whose quality of life is already suffering. While asking a bariatric surgeon if bariatric surgery is a good idea might seem akin to asking a barber if you need a haircut — in fact, Bessler does consult for companies in the industry — the data seem to back up his claims: not only do most patients keep off a significant amount of weight but the other medical problems that accompany obesity are also often assuaged. One recent analysis found that 77 percent of bariatric-surgery patients with Type 2 diabetes experienced “complete resolution” of their diabetes after the procedure; the surgery also helps eliminate hypertension and sleep apnea. From an economic standpoint, research suggests that the operation can pay for itself within a few years because a postbariatric patient now requires less medical care and fewer prescriptions. That’s why some insurance companies cover bariatric surgery — as more do, it will likely lead to a further spike in the volume of operations. This is especially good news for the hospitals that have already grown dependent on the significant cash flow that bariatric surgery generates.

There are at least two ways to think about the rise in bariatric surgery. On the one hand, isn’t it terrific that technology has once again solved a perplexing human problem? Now people can eat all they want for years and years and then, at the hands of a talented surgeon, suddenly bid farewell to all their fat. There are risks and expenses of course, but still, isn’t this what progress is all about?

On the other hand, why is such a drastic measure called for? It’s one thing to spend billions of dollars on a disease for which the cause and cure are a mystery. But that’s not the case here. Even those who argue that obesity has a strong genetic component must acknowledge, as Bessler does, that “the amount of obesity has skyrocketed in the past 30 years, but our genetic makeup certainly hasn’t changed in that time.” More >>

Gastric Bypass Malpractice Lawyers

Labels: , , , , , ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

More Teens Getting Gastric Bypass Surgery

November 15, 2007
Jarvis Willis is 16 years old. He spends most of his time these days playing video games even though football is his passion. But at 320 pounds, he said his coach has thrown him off the team for being too fat to play. But that's not his only problem: His weight has given this teenager all sorts of illnesses that you typically see in people more than twice his age, such as severe diabetes and kidney failure. Jarvis admits that his eating habits along with failing to take his medicine has had dire effects on his health. is worried enough about his health to ask for an extreme form of help -- gastric bypass surgery. He underwent the surgery earlier this week at the Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. Jarvis said he hopes the surgery will change his life and that he may be able to play football again, or possibly try out for the basketball team. More >>

Gastric Bypass Lawsuits

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

Allergan, Covidien to Market Lap-Band Gastric Bypass Surgery Alternative

Nov. 12, 2007, 9:28AM
IRVINE, Calif. — Allergan Inc., which makes Botox and sells surgical weight-loss devices, said Monday it will co-promote its Lap-Band product with health care products provider Covidien Ltd.

The Lap-Band is an adjustable gastric band, a device surgically implanted around the stomach to help severely obese patients lose weight by forcibly limiting food intake. The procedure is an alternative to more invasive gastric bypass surgery, commonly known as stomach stapling.

Under the multi-year agreement, which became effective Nov. 9, Covidien will co-promote Allergan's Lap-Band to bariatric and other surgeons in the United States. Pembroke, Bermuda-based Covidien makes medical devices and pharmaceutical products.

Covidien's sales representatives will help educate and train surgeons on the Lap-Band procedure, which costs roughly $12,000 to $20,000. Irvine, Calif.-based Allergan said it will continue to recognize revenue from the Lap-Band. Other financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Allergan acquired the Lap-Band with its 2006 purchase of Inamed.

In late September, the Food and Drug Administration cleared Johnson & Johnson's Realize gastric band, effectively ending Allergan's dominance in the adjustable gastric banding market.

Shares of Allergan rose 47 cents to $65.25 in morning trade, while Covidien's stock rose 12 cents to $39.56.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Lawsuits

Labels: , ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dieting vs. Gastric Bypass Surgery

Is extreme weight loss possible, and long-lasting, without surgery? The News Five Medical Team reports on a study that's helping severely obese people lose weight while bypassing bypass surgery. Ray Lehner is looking lean these days, but he used to look like a different person.

"I was unhappy about my weight, I mean it was impeding me in my job and running around after the kids." At his highest, Ray weighed over 300 pounds. While diet plans initially worked, results didn't last.

"You can't continue to diet your whole life, there's no, you know there was nothing afterwards." Ray enrolled in a pilot study at the University at Buffalo looking at alternatives to gastric bypass surgery. continued >>

gastric bypass lawyer

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

$3.5 Million Malpractice Verdict Upheld in Gastric Bypass Malpractice Lawsuit

Gastric bypass malpractice lawyers won a $3.5 million jury verdict in Virginia for their client, who suffered a brain injury during gastric bypass surgery. Even though Virginia's insurance company protecting "cap" on malpractice awards immediately knocked the verdict down to $1.65 million (for no reason other than the insurance industry spends big money in Virginia's General Assembly) the defendants elected to appeal the verdict. About one year after the trial, they prevailed.

gastric bypass malpractice attorneys


 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Singer Tammy Fletcher's Gastric Bypass Story

A different tune: Singer Tammy Fletcher: On her career, weight loss, her life

Tammy Fletcher is known for her big voice and commanding stage presence. But in the past two years, the Eden singer’s presence has physically shrunk. The 47-year-old diva lost 170 pounds off her 5-foot, 4 inch-tall frame.

The weight loss was spurred by the discovery that Fletcher had Type 2 diabetes and further fueled by her mother’s death last year. A stressful job and unhealthy lifestyle factored into her weight gain, which topped at 344 pounds.

“I was an apple — a very big apple. But I carried it well. I’m an entertainer, and I have a good self-esteem,” said Fletcher, speaking by phone from her home this week. “But it’s a very unhealthy lifestyle for me.”

Fletcher lost 70 pounds through diet and exercise before she decided to have gastric bypass surgery in November last year. She’s lost 100 pounds since.

Here the well-known jazz, blues and gospel singer talks about her life-altering weight loss, her career and the “second half” of her life:

On why she undertook such a huge lifestyle change:

“I’m going to be 50 years old soon, and I want the other half of my life to be one of physical fitness. To do anything I want to do — to ride on a roller coaster because I’ll fit, to wear a size 12, which I do now. I don’t want my frame to get in the way of that.”

“Everyday of my life I’ve dedicated to service. ... For once I want to take care of myself. Me first. Then I can do a better job at all the other stuff.”

On gastric bypass:

“I had gastric bypass. I need to tell people because they say I did it the easy way. In no way do I recommend this surgery to anyone. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever been though. It was grueling, painful. It was a lifestyle change. It is a tool, not a miracle.”

On discrimination she faced for being overweight:

“I didn’t mind being a big girl. I loved being a big woman. ... It was just an outer shell. I didn’t like the way the world treated me. I didn’t like having to not to sit in an airplane without getting an extension, things like that bothered me. I liked myself. I tried to be a good role model for other large women. I try to carry the torch, to fight that fight. To not allow discrimination that is blatant.”

“I was booed at the Apollo not because I was white — because I was fat. Fat and white are a double death. Until I opened my mouth, and I won — until I sang, and I proved myself. I got tired of holding that torch.”

On her slimmer persona:

“I am who I am. I’m just a smaller version of that person. I command attention, no matter if I’m as big as I was or as medium as I am now. ... I’m half the girl I used to be, and I’m still a ton of fun, as I like to say. And I mean it. Now I can juggle more than one or two things.”

“I think it’s funny, people just stare at me. They don’t believe how I could possibly do this. Some people were angry; they missed this big girl who I was. That’s their problem.”

On her voice:

“People ask silly questions like ‘Is your voice the same?’ I can still sing, and I have more energy now to sing longer. Because I was so heavy it was an incredible workout to sing, it was very tiring. I was warm all the time, sometimes I’d get lightheaded and I never knew why. (Diabetes) was coming on. My body was starting to show signs.”

How her renewed health affected her career and propelled her back into the recording studio in December:

“I have a purpose. There’s meaning to my life, and I have a direction and I couldn’t do it being unhealthy. One of which is writing my own music and recording an album of my stuff with musicians who are the best. I couldn’t do it because I was physically unhealthy, depressed and just sick, physically sick.”

On continuing to lose weight and maintain her health:

“I have a sweet tooth, and it’s tough for me. My blood sugars are all normal because I’ve lost so much weight. I’ve been able to maintain it and keep a healthy attitude about it and realize it’s about portion control. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.”

“I completely changed the amount of food I ate. I changed the quality of the food I ate. I don’t eat fast food. I try to pre-prepare ... I’m not perfect at this, I’m just learning. I work out on a daily basis in a small way. Anything I can do, whether its dancing in my house, running up and down the stairs. Every step counts. Don’t think it doesn’t because it all adds up.”

Her advice to people who are considering gastric bypass surgery:

“If you can do it conventionally, do it. (The surgery) saved my life, but by no means is it simple. I cannot stress support enough. You must surround yourself with people who support you on this. You cannot support yourself with naysayers. You will suffer.”

“I didn’t go into this lightly. This is a serious change of life and your family will change with you or they won’t. You’ll have to bear that. It’s not about your family it’s about you.”

Labels: , , ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery Live on ORLive, 11/7/2007

ORLive Presents: Minimally Invasive Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Weight-Loss Surgery Webcast: November 7, 2007 6:00 PM EST

Weight-loss surgery is the first surgery PinnacleHealth is scheduled to host on the Internet over the next year. On Wednesday, November 7 at 6 pm, Luciano DiMarco, DO, FACOS, medical director of bariatric surgery at PinnacleHealth, will perform the gold standard of weight-loss surgery, Roux-en-YGastric Bypass, at the PinnacleHealth Community Campus, on

Video-Link Available:

gastric bypass malpractice

Labels: , , ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments

Learning about Bariatric Surgery: Gastric Bypass

Learning about Bariatric Surgery: Gastric Bypass

An estimated 66 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although doctors recommend that those who wish to lose weight first try to do so through dieting, exercise, behavior therapy and anti-obesity drugs, an increasing number of people are turning to surgery when these steps fail.

In 2006, for example, about 150,000 patients in the United States underwent what is known as bariatric surgery, says Michael Schweitzer, director of minimally invasive bariatric surgery at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. That number is up from about 14,000 patients in 2003.

gastric bypass attorney

Labels: , ,

 Subscribe to Gastric Bypass Surgery News

Bookmark and Share
posted by iLitigate at 0 Comments