BARIATRIC SURGERY, also known as weight loss surgery, is a subspecialty of General Surgery involving the surgical modification of the gastrointestinal tract in order to treat extreme obesity. Common bariatric procedures include gastroplasty (i.e. “stomach stapling”), vertical banded gastroplasty, gastric bypass (i.e. “Roux-en-Y” procedure), vertical banded gastroplasty, and the adjustable gastric band (i.e. “lap band”). Bariatric Surgery does not include cosmetic procedures for removal of body fat such as liposuction or abdominoplasty. These latter procedures are typically performed by a Plastic Surgeon.
Given the predominance of obesity in the United States, Bariatric Surgery is one of the fastest growing surgical specialties. Consequently, the incidence of surgical complications is on the rise. Litigation in Bariatric Surgery commonly results from allegations of perforation, leakage, infection, or improperly performed procedures resulting in malabsorption and malnutrition.