Small Bowel Perforation Leads to Life-Threatening Infection

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on August 30, 2016

Bariatric SurgeryThis case involves a Plaintiff who had surgery to reverse a previous intestinal procedure. A short time after this surgery was performed, a small bowel perforation was identified by doctors. In order to treat the perforation, the Plaintiff underwent a laparoscopic procedure to repair the small bowel perforation. However, despite the fact that doctors claimed to have repaired the perforation, the patient went on to suffer from a serious, life-threatening infection. It is alleged that the original revision surgery to close the perforation wasn’t performed properly.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you perform the procedures involved in this case?
  • 2. Have you ever had a patient develop this outcome?

Expert Witness Response E-035901

I am one of few surgeons in my state performing several kinds of revision surgeries in bariatric surgery. Personally I have never had a leak or perforate either in my routine gastric surgeries or in revisions. The first perforation from the first operation should not have happened in the first place.  The re-operation to fix it was laparoscopic, this could have been inadequate and should have been done open as laparoscopic cleaning of peritonitis from a leak is not always safe and the residual infection must have spread. Secondly, it is possible that the repair broke down again (releasing new infection) and may or may not have sealed.

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