Botched Bariatric Surgery Causes Permanent Inability to Swallow

    Emergency Medicine Expert WitnessThis case involves a man in his 40’s who underwent lap band surgery. Immediately after surgery was concluded, the patient realized that he could not swallow. Despite a revision surgery, the patient was still unable to swallow and has not been able to take any solid food by mouth. After further testing and examination by physicians, the patient was told he has a severe esophageal stricture and would require a feeding tube for the foreseeable future.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. What is your experience performing lap band surgery?
    • 2. Have you ever heard of this complication?
    • 3. What, if anything, can be done to prevent or mediate against this complication from occurring?

    Expert Witness Response E-045014

    I’m a board certified general surgeon and a bariatric surgeon certified in the lap band and active in the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. I’ve done many lap bands, and taken out just as many. It’s hard to know what exactly this complication is – if he had too much fluid in the band, if it was slipped, or if it was simply too tight. Generally, removing the fluid is done, followed by an Upper GI swallow study or an EGD. If the patient can’t swallow well, the band would need to be removed.

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