Wernickes Encephalopathy from Failure to Treat Malnutrition after a Gastric Bypass Procedure

Unfortunately, people who undergo Gastric Bypass sometimes then suffer from Wernickes Encephalopathy, a disease caused by malnutrition which affects a person’s heart, nervous system and sensory organs. This is also known as Wernicke’s Encephalopathy. When doctors fail to diagnose Wernicke’s Encephalopathy, the consequences can sometimes be quite severe.

Known Gastric Bypass Surgery Side-Effect

Malnutrition is a common side-effect of this procedure, and should be easy to identify and to treat with a Vitamin B-1 shot administers as soon as the problem is known. Too often, this is not the case and the malnutrition is allowed to go on untreated until serious complications arise, one of these is Wernickes Encephalopathy.

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Symptoms of Wernickes Encephalopathy

Wernicke’s Encephalopathy cause memory loss and other serious neurological problems in some patients, it is a degenerative brain disorder caused by the lack of thiamine (vitamin B1). When there is an untreated deficiency of thiamine there will be symptoms of Wernicke’s — if not promptly noticed and treated it could develop into Korsakoff syndrome, which can cause permanent neurological damage.

Symptoms of Wernicke's Encephalopathy

The symptoms of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome are confusion, short-term memory and vision loss and loss of muscle coordination. Without treatment, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome gets steadily worse and can be life-threatening.

How Does this Happen?

It is the responsibility of surgeons and staff to educate the patient and family on the symptoms or postoperative complications. Early recognition of these complications and meticulous attention to details are of paramount importance for bariatric surgeons. They are obligated to monitor their patients’ postoperative recoveries and take their patients complaints seriously.

Failure to diagnose and treat complications of bariatric surgery can result in permanent injury or death. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death following a bariatric or weight loss surgery, perhaps we can help.  Please call our bariatric or weight loss surgery consultants at 866-222-9990.

Example Case:

A 30-year-old woman had gastric bypass surgery. Afterward, she had recurring episodes of vomiting and she could not maintain a healthy diet. Several months after the surgery, she was unable to walk and vision problems. She was hospitalized for a month, but the neurologist could not determine what was wrong, so he decided to discharge her to a nursing facility.

Prior to discharge, she began to suffer mental confusion. She had what is known as Wernicke’s Encephalopathy caused by a thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency. All she needed was a Vitamin B1 shot for immediate recovery. She was transferred to the hospital and finally, an accurate diagnosis was made, but it was too late to prevent serious complications, including permanent inability to walk and a speech impediment.

What Can You Do?

Our trained staff will make the process as comfortable and as easy as possible for you during this stressful time. We will get to work on filing your legal claim. Please contact our office and let us work with you to get the help and financial compensation that you deserve.

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