Advertisement

Medicolegal Analysis of 81 Malpractice Claims Against Bariatric Surgeons in France

  • 9 Accesses

Abstract

Background

Medicolegal expertise concerning bariatric surgery has greatly evolved, both quantitatively and qualitatively, but unfortunately, the jurisprudence is poor on the subject.

Objectives

The aim of this article is to propose a global and practical approach to medical liability in bariatric surgery.

Setting

University Hospital, France

Methods

This is a retrospective study which deals with an analysis of cases of surgical malpractice litigation between 2009 and 2011. Only the malpractice claims taken to the High Court and the Regional Commission of Reconciliation and Compensation have been taken into account in this study.

Results

During this period, there were 426 cases of visceral and digestive surgical malpractice litigation, 81 of which involved bariatric surgery (19%). Fistula was the most common complication leading to a malpractice claim (43.67%). The period of time between the allegations and the procedure was 2 years on average, with a range of 1 to 6 years. There were seven fistulas reported with gastric bypass GB (18.5%) and 31 with sleeve gastrectomy SG (81.5%) leading to malpractice claims. In the majority of cases, only the surgeon was implicated. Sometimes the anaesthetist or the surgical staff were implicated separately or “in solidum” with the surgeon. Every surgical technique was examined.

Conclusion

Patients do not spontaneously differentiate between recovery from a complication and the result of an alleged error. Attention must be paid to the implications and discourteous remarks. Surgical complications are often unpredictable events and are not synonymous with medical mistakes.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 99

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

References

  1. 1.

    Lazzati A, Guy-Lachuer R, Delaunay V, et al. Bariatric surgery trends in France: 2005-2011. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2014;10:328–34.

  2. 2.

    Manaouil C, Gignon M, Jardé O. Obesity surgery: French medico-legal aspects. Med Law. 2011;30:215–24.

  3. 3.

    Rougé-Maillart C, Gaudin A, Lermite E, et al. L’exactitude du geste chirurgical: évolution de la jurisprudence. J Chir. 2008;145(5):437–41.

  4. 4.

    Cottam D, Lord J, Dallal RM, et al. Medicolegal analysis of 100 malpractice claims against bariatric surgeons. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2007;3:60–7.

  5. 5.

    Tuchtan L, Bartoli C, Sastre B, et al. responsabilité médicale dans le cadre de la chirurgie de l’obésité morbide par anneau gastrique ajustable : à propos de neuf cas expertisés. Journal of visceral surgery. 2013;150:416–22.

  6. 6.

    Dallal RM, Pang J, Soriano I, et al. Bariatric-related medical malpractice experience: survey results among ASMBS members. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2014;10:121–4.

  7. 7.

    Fernandez AZ, Demaria EJ, Tichansky DS, et al. Multivariate analysis of risk factors for death following gastric bypass for treatment of morbid obesity. Ann Surg. 2004;239:698–704.

  8. 8.

    Thierry JP. La crise du système d’assurance professionnelle des médecins. Responsabilité. 2003;11:32–6.

  9. 9.

    Zinzindohoue F. De la génèse des erreurs médicales, de l’imputabilité de la faute. J Chir. 2008;145:509–10.

  10. 10.

    Manaouil C. Chirurgie bariatrique: pas de légèreté dans la prise en charge des suites opératoires. Journal of Visceral Surgery. 2013;150:401–4.

  11. 11.

    Piercecchi-Marti MD, Sastre B, Zuck S, et al. L’accident médical non fautif: bilan de deux années d’activité de la commission régionale de conciliation et d’indemnisation des accidents médicaux de la région PACA. J Chir. 2008;145:442–6.

  12. 12.

    Grapin C. La faute. Dans: Vayre P, Vannineuse A, eds. Le risque annoncé de la pratique chirurgicale. Saint-Etienne: Springer-Verlag, 2003:647–654.

  13. 13.

    Liu JH, Zingmond D, Etzioni DA, et al. Characterizing the performance and outcome of obesity surgery in California. Am Surg. 2003;69:823–8.

  14. 14.

    Courcoulas A, Schuchert M, Gatti G, et al. The relationship of surgeon and hospital volume to outcome after gastric bypass surgery in Pennsylvania: a 3-year summary. Surgery. 2003;134:613–21.

  15. 15.

    Laville M, Romon M, Chavrier G, et al. Recommandations concernant la chirurgie de l’obésité. Obes Surg. 2005;15:1476–80.

  16. 16.

    Menegaux F. Thyroïdectomie ambulatoire: recommandations de l’Association francophone de chirurgie endocrinienne (AFCE). Enquête sur les pratiques actuelles. Journal of Visceral Surgery. 2013;150:165–71.

  17. 17.

    Gagnière J, Slim K, Launay-Savary MV, et al. Un anneau préalable augmente morbidité et fistules gastriques après gastrectomie longitudinale coelioscopique pour obésité. Journal of Visceral Surgery. 2011;148:231–6.

  18. 18.

    Msika S, Coupaye M. Savoir dire non, ou les contre-indications de la chirurgie bariatrique. Obes. 2008;3:146–50.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Radwan Kassir.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of Informed Consent and Human and Animal Rights

“Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.”

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kassir, R., Lointier, P., Papastathi-Boureau, C. et al. Medicolegal Analysis of 81 Malpractice Claims Against Bariatric Surgeons in France. OBES SURG (2020) doi:10.1007/s11695-020-04389-4

Download citation

Keywords

  • Bariatric surgical procedures
  • Malpractice claims
  • Medicolegal analysis
  • Branchet medical professional liability insurance